Went to Dr today for shots & advice...

May 21st, 2003, 01:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 102
Went to Dr today for shots & advice...

Here was his 2 cents...

We are not going to to a malarial area (our safari is in the Waterberg area) but he gave me a prescription for Malarone just in case our plans change between now and October. In his opinion people WAY underestimate Malaria. 3 MILLION PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR FROM IT. That really got my attention. (an estimated 5 million get infected each year). I am not trying to be dramatic, but please, this is a serious disease, and I know someone who has it (caught it in Cambodia)- you have nasty relapses your whole life. If you are going to a malarial area, do not be cavalier about it. BTW, he said Malarone is the most advanced anti-malarial drug out there. (We are in Germany, so I am not sure what they think in the US).

As for shots, he gave me Hep A & B as one shot, (apparently over here they are always given together now, becuase you can catch Hep B quite easily - a wound or scratch that comes in contact with blood is all it takes.) We have to go back in 4 weeks for another one, and then in 4 months for the last one, and then we are good for 10 years. We also got polio, tetanus and typhoid boosters,(all in 1 shot) good for 10 years.

The immunizations have come a LONG way - I didn't even feel the Hep A & B, but he mentioned the other shot might make my arm a bit tender, so he gave it to me in the left arm (I am a righty).

Hope this is helpful for those of you wondering about the shots needed. I didn't want to overdue it and get things that were unnecessary, but for some things I believe it is better to be safe then sorry.

melissaom is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 04:30 AM
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Melissa - Very good post. Once I started traveling outside the States, I got my innoculations (no Thyphoid yet) and since they're good for 10 years, well worth the expense and peace of mind.
Now that they have the Combo A/B it's easier getting both, and while A is good to have even in Western countries, I use the "did the kitchen worker wash their hands before leaving the bathroom" or the "mother wash her hands after changing a dirty diapers (if she's a food handler by profession)". Since B is blood borne, they mostly recommend for long-term people (working for UN or NGOs) who are likely to to in environments where one can come into contact (e.g. sex)-but now it's 2-in-1, great!
Glad you emphasised the numbers for Malaria, very incideous - 3,000 children daily die. There's been work now, over 10 years, trying to come up with a vaccine - nothing yet.
Have a great trip.

May 21st, 2003, 04:44 AM
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Yes, malaria is something to take very seriously. A good friend of my parents who had lived in Africa for quite a few years then moved back to Belgium died from malaria 9 YEARS after his move. He had left Africa for such a long time that doctors didn't realize until it was too late that's what he had.
People who get malaria should also be aware that they CANNOT donate blood anymore. If I remember correctly, the companies in the U.S. that collect blood give a 10-year limit...meaning if it's been 10 years since your last malaria episode, you can finally donate. It's been over 10 years for me but personally I have chosen never to give blood again because I just wouldn't want to chance transmitting it to anyone.
Have a great trip.
May 21st, 2003, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
I am rushing to prepare for Africa but wanted to add that my doctor said I had to return for Hep a and b shots - I think 1 month for one and 6 months for the other.
Clematis is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Hi Melissaom,Malarone was the malaria pill recommended for me by Drs' at the tropical disease cente. I had everything you did with the exception of Hep. B which they felt was not necessary due to the reason that Sandi stated
pattysuericia is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 01:02 PM
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Caribtraveler - besides fact that people who have had Malaria cannot donate blood for 10-years, anyone who has taken Malaria Meds, cannot donate blood for a minimum of 1-year, sometimes 2-years.
It is also known that the Malaria bug can actually remain alive but dormant for up to 3-years before symptoms occur. So for anyone who has traveled to a country where they might have contracted Malaria, do remember it, and do tell your physician. Most doctors just aren't familiar with the symptoms, which are alot like Flu. It's up to each and every one of us to take charge of our own health.
May 21st, 2003, 02:59 PM
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Sandi...I actually did not know you couldn't give blood if you took malaria meds and never had malaria... probably because since I was born and raised in Zaire I didn't have to take for prevention...only when I got sick.
I didn't even know I couldn't give blood until I tried to give blood while in college over 10 years ago.
Anyway, I think that's one aspect of malaria that most people aren't told about.

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