Travel Vaccine

Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Travel Vaccine

My husband and I are going to South africa (Garden Route and Kruger), Chobe and Vic Falls in Zambia for 2.5 weeks in late August. Reading from different articles and bookds it seems like I would need a Hep A booster, Tetanus booster, Rabies and Typhoid. My husband's doc says those are not necessary b/c we are not going to Congo. I am very confused. What vaccines do you take before going on your trip? Any advice would be helpful!

BTW, I am from the US so I have some routine vaccines since childhood.
bridezilla06 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 06:19 AM
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I think you doc is one of the "brave" ones who doesn't "subscrobe" ANYTHING just to make sure the patient has got IT!
Applaude him instead of criticism!
Too many doc esopecially in USA are frantic about any kind of vaccination!

Relax and appreciate his advise!

What we do:

YF for East Africa (immunisation and refresh every 10 years)
Tetanus and Polio is a refresher thing not just for Africa
Malaria prophylaxis only in rainy season and infested areas!
But even when we take malaria prophylaxis we use bug spray as well as covering legs/arms in mornings and evenings.
Prophylaxis doesn't mean you are immune!
If you take prophylaxis and get flu like symptoms you must inform your doc where you have been!

For August (Winter in SA and also dry in Zam/Chobe) I would evaluate the risk (which is towards zero) and the impact of swallowing any chemical drugs for almost no reason.

If you are happy with chemical prophylaxis - think of Malarone which has mostly very little side effects and you don't have to swallow it for 4 weeks after returning.

Happy Planning - and YES you are not visiting Congo ;-) and lift itself is lift threatening and there is no vaccination to eliminate all risks

SV
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 06:37 AM
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We have all those, plus polio, Hep B, yellow fever. Just make good sense to us.

regards - tom
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:10 AM
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It seems to me (someone not in the medical field) that a Rabies vaccine is excessive for the garden route. I did get a rabies vaccine once when I was going to an area known for loose dogs that were sometimes vicious and could be rabid. But rabies has never been recommended for me for Africa.

I've had Hep A recommended for all sorts of international travel. I thought Tetanus was every 10 years even if you never leave home. I've gone with the Typhoid recommendation.

I'd see what an international travel clinic has to say.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:14 AM
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Ooops, slight correction to mine: we do -not- do rabies.

regards - tom
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:50 AM
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I would contact your public health department. I live in Long Beach, CA and we were able to make an appointment and get our recommended shots. We gave them our itinerary and they told US what we should have.

I did read that for SA if you have been to certain places before entering they demand you have the Yellow Fever shot and if you cannot show proof you have to get it then and there and pay the rate they quote.

I say, better safe than sorry. Why risk your health to save a few bucks or shots?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 11:08 AM
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>>"it seems like I would need a Hep A booster, Tetanus booster, Rabies and Typhoid."> "My husband's doc says those are not necessary b/c we are not going to Congo."
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 11:09 AM
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sm
East African countries ask for YF certificate when coming from a YF area - crossing border from Kenya to Uganda/Ruanda/Tanzania they might ask for proof.
South Africa asks for NOTHING - well now the might ask whether you have been to a swine flu area ;-).

It's not about "saving" money it's about being intellectually mature and able to "speak" to the doctors and not just follow like lemming.

Any chemistry has an impact on to the human body and too little is bad but too much as well.

SV
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 11:47 AM
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The U.S. Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.org) has recommendations for every country which you can discuss with your doctor. Look under the "travel" section. Also, if you received your childhood immunizations during the 60s and 70s the CDC is recommending that you might have lost enough immunity that it makes sense to have boosters even on those before you travel to places in the world where such diseases are not as rare as they are here (example Polio and Pertussis). Again, just something to discuss with your own doctor who knows your own medical history.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:24 PM
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I went to Botswana and Victoria Falls- Zambia in may-June.

I took Malarone- no problem with side effects
I also got a Hep A shot ( my first), a polio booster, and a tetanus shot.

Of all of those, which I would do so again, I would most definitely recommend that anyone going get the tetanus shot ( if you are not up to date on that ( I would get one if I was post 7-8 years since the last shot) and take the malarial meds.
The polio and hep A is a more personal decision.

amy
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 05:33 AM
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SV -
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 02:38 PM
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Hi sandi
We did it very often and were never asked for anything to proof.
Even travelling in between EA that never came up.
Maybe it's a bit on the risky side of the border piosts/migration.

But of course - make sure you don't get refused entry

Thanks for the clarification!

SV
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 05:09 AM
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SV - You're right, many visitors are never asked for anything that's clearly noted they must have. Such as into Tanzania from Kenya (YF inoc proof) or back again. But one never knows.

Same entering South Africa. Some friends were never asked and others have been, especially when the Immigration officer sees the Kenyan or Tanzanian entry Visa stamps.

If a traveler has chosen a destination, it's as important to know requirements for visa, inoculations, meds, as it is for weather, clothing, health, food, etc. Ahead of time, not 5/days before departure!
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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Go to a travel clinic. We have one here on Long Island at North Shore Hospital and it worked out great. They have chart from the CDC and give you what you need and can write necessary prescriptions. Remember, none are required for travel from USA to S Africa (and Zambia, I think) so you can always say no. We took Malarone, but had side effects.

Whenever we travel (anywhere) we take a pepto every morning to avoid any tummy issues. It has worked great for us.

None of the shots or pills were covered by our health insurance, so be prepared to pay for them. Ours were pretty expensive, and Malarone is really pricey - look everywhere for the best deal. Our county has an RX program and it was a lot less expensive through that program than any other option we found - even illegal Canada pharmacies.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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Ain't it interesting when the OP disappears.
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