yellow fever

Jun 12th, 2010, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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After reading all this I need to buy another luggage for all the drugs but can't take it onto small aircrafts due to luggage restrictions.

Gosh - now I either leave clothing or meds behind ;-)

Next safari will become a very interesting adventure. We either die because of all those illnesses for which we left the meds behind or we become very famous for game driving naked.

Decisions, decisions....

PS: I am wondering how we survived 40+ safaris without all the drugs....
spassvogel is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 02:00 PM
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You survived them because you never got sick.

You only need to be sick once to know what it is like.

A vial of Cipro , a vial of Gravol and a flat sheet 1.4 inches by 2.5 inches of hardly over packing !!!

You can put all of these in your shirt pocket, or into the smallest zip-lock bag you can find !!!

I got sick in Alexandria Egypt.... in the Outback at Alice Springs in Australia ,and 2 years ago in the Amazon in Brazil..

Thank Goodness I had meds with me.

We bring medicine with us as a safety pre-caution..... it is a one wants to be sick and start looking for a doctor.

I am honestly happy for you that you have never seen sick...because I know what it is like.

Take care
Percy is online now  
Jun 12th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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THX Percy - you are right!

I went sick only once in PNG: couldn't flex my foot anymore.Painful. Obviously - as an Aussi expat explained it could have been a soiderbite - no marks. I got back to Australia one week later and went to see a physician. Some antiobiotics. Gone - it was already much better when I touched Australian soil after the week in ONG. 3 months later I got malaria-similar symptoms plus leukemia like symptoms (35.000 white blood cells). 41°C fever, muscle pain, joint pain, despite freezing and shaking. Movement only slow motion.
Just lab checks but no meds as doctors were clueless. After 3 days it was gone.
This symtoms occurd another 2 times (each 2 months apart). Blood cells went down from 35000 to 24000 to some what around 13000. Since then never again.

Of course I let my blood check each and every time. But physicians were clueless. No medication. It just went by itself.
Our doctor saidf there must have been a huge infection whith which my body had been dealing for months before it brake thru.

That was in 95 - no further incident.

I guess I have got a health made out of steel ;-)

I am touching wood 3 times ;-)

spassvogel is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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I second Percy's advice. The meds are not heavy and don't take up a lot of room. We usually go on one exotic trip a year and take whatever hasn't expired (including any sleeping pills and pain killers we have lying around), hoping we won't need to use anything.

- To clarify, the Z-pac is for non-intestinal infections (like strep throat); three of us are allergic to penicillin.

- I used to live in Mexico and Venezuela; many travelers there take one PB tablet daily to prevent diarrhea. I have never done this (or needed to..knock wood), but some swear it works.

- Tamiflu is supposed to last beyond its expiration date. We still have some from our trip to SE Asia 3 years ago.

- I think our doctor just gave us Gravol that dissolves under the tongue, or something like it.

- My younger son also had an incident in the outback - The flying doctors were going to airlift him from Uluru (Ayer's Rock) to Alice Springs because they thought it was appendicitis, but his symptoms turned out to be caused by bacteria he picked up after swimming in a waterfall in Litchfield NP...very scary even though the medical system there was stellar. We had been traveling with electrolyte powder (thanks to our previous SE Asia trip) and everyone in the Uluru ER complimented us on keeping him hydrated.
crosscheck is online now  
Jun 12th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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Wow !!!!!!!!!!

A White Blood cell count of 35,000 !! You must have been sick and then a fever of over 104 F, that is murder.!!!

Then the count went down to 24,000 .....then to 13,000 ( that is still higher than normal.

spassvogel, did you have malaria or malaria like symptoms.

Did the doctors ever tell you what they thought you had.?

Boy you are lucky and superman( woman) at the same time.

No sickness since 1995 wow !! wish I could say that.


Yes, you are right , you have to take some medicine with you and at the same time you are hoping you never have to use it.

I got sick with the flu in Alexandria ( after first doing at 2 week Nile Cruise ) , on the very last day of my holidays.

Let me tell you the train ride back to Cairo seemed to take forver.

I could not wait to go to bed at the Marriott , but I had to be up at 3 AM to get to the Cairo airport for the flight to London and then from London to North America...

I had such a fever and muscle aches ,that I thought I would not make it !!!

I would have laid on the floor in the isle of the plane if they would have let me !

We have 207 bones in the human body, but I swear I must have had 210 that ached.

I did not have Tamiflu with me , and you have to take the Tamiflu within 48 hours for sure...or don't bother !!

You are right about the Z- Pak, however , in Asia right now , there is a "wave: of E. Coli that is becoming resistant to Cipro,

so I guess for people going to this area of the world , that is something to consider.

Gravol under the tongue is good, not much use in swallowing pills when you have diarrhea and vomiting also

That is why I say toget the Quick Dis-solve Imodium, it taste like marshmellow and dissolves in seconds !

Okay I am stupid.... spassvogel what is PNG !

and crosscheck what is a PB pill !!

Nice talking to both of you
Percy is online now  
Jun 12th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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PNG = Papua New Guinea

PB = Pepto Bismol
Patty is online now  
Jun 12th, 2010, 07:26 PM
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Thanks Patty
Percy is online now  
Jun 13th, 2010, 06:06 AM
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This is a great thread, so informative. Thank you all for the information. Percy, it would be great to have you in a neighboring tent while on safari!

It sounds like Cipro is certainly a drug to have with you as well as a few others. Better safe than sorry. I've had a belly ache (intestinal) on trips to Europe as well so this may be a sensitivy of mine when traveling. In Europe though, we could walk a few blocks to a pharamcy to get some meds.

We aslo bring an antihistimine to help sleep on the overnight plane trips. This was recommended by a pharmacist and seems to work well. We'll have 3 overnight flights.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
long2travel is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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No, there were several docs in charge and the cause couldn't be traced.

The symptoms made them believe it's malaria. Came out negative from the lab.

The white blood cells made them believe it's leukemia - which wasn't as they figured by further lab tests which came out better each time.

Obviously - as all docs came to the same conclusion of not being able to really detect what caused the problem - they "assumed" a very heavy infection caused by a nasty spider which had bitten me without laving a trace.
As arachnophobic that idea alone makes me shiver ;-)

What I have learned from that: NEVER EVER WEAR SANDALS in the wilds - not on safari and not on walks or even village visits. Doesn't matter if it's hot like hell!

Maybe my body copes very well with minor infections or impacts: Based on the fact that my parents never made a fuss when we were playing outside "eating" dirt we all have a great immunity system. Maybe the more dirt one swallows the better ;-)
Really - many of our generation don't have allergic issues or are type of "sicky". The younger ones who grew up in households were GERMS were a big issue and all sorts of "even better cleaning chemicals" were highlights are more often sick, deal with allergic illnesses and fall victim to smallest impacts.

The only thing which really bugs me: getting a cold on airplanes. Often I got a cold up there. I try to fight it with nose drops keeping the nose moist and wearing a scarf (as the cowboys in those movies do) covering my nose and mouth.

I think that helps....

Touch wood - I am as healthy as one can be and I don't worry about any health issue. I have decided to stay healthy!

Also - I don't visit a doctor unless I need my renewal of the health certificate for diving - which always comes out brilliantly

Happy travels!

spassvogel is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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SV, What a story! I keep waiting for a physician to comment. What kind of spider do you think it was? And, forgive me, but are you male or female?
crosscheck is online now  
Jun 13th, 2010, 06:05 PM
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Thank you for the informative story spassvogel.

A white blood cell count of 35,000 is scary, but is was nice to see the count come down after repeated blood tests!

( it would have been nice to know what type of white Blood Cells madeup of the count of 35,000. There are 5 different types of white blood cells.....

and you can more often then not focus in on what the infection culprit could be ( but not always !)

I hate being cold on airplanes also and I usually wrap myself in the blanket from the neck down !!!

Nice to hear you are healthy as can be and that you do not have any health issues... it makes travelling easier and

also getting travel insurance easier.


I Agree antihistamines are okay to take with you and people do use them at bedtime as a sedative or when thye are on a long plane ride ... unless you get the "non drowsy "type.

People usually get Bendryl over the counter and you can get anstihistamines now that you only have to take once a day.

For example if you get an antihistamine and it says LA or SR after the name ...all this means is that ...

LA means Long Acting

SR means Slow Release

Thats is why you only have to take it once a day.

Take with you whatever medications you feel you need and hope you never have to use them.

Hi crosscheck !
Percy is online now  
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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crosscheck - female ;-)
That might explain the way I dealt with the prob....rather easy going

Percy - I have no clue what kind of white cells. At that stage I felt really bad .....only being able to move in slow motion, freezing and sweating all at once. I didn't ask any questions. I was somehow in shock when I heart leukemia. But after 2 or 3 days it was gone. Si I went on like normal and was happy when I got the blood cell result at the second attack as that meant no leukemia. Anything else I considered easily "fix-able".

Wasn't fun. But I tend to (like a cat;-) ) just pull out and wait until it's over.

Regarding the spider: NO CLUE! I remember it started somehow itching while waiting for taxi at Tari airstrip, like a mossie bite. I couldn't see anything. No swelling, no marks.... Nothing. But the Aussie I met at Port Moresby airport the next day (over night it was getting realy bad and hurting) - approached me because I was walking like someone who was "missing" the whole forefoot. -

I roughly remember the conversation:
Q: What happend?
A: No idea - I can't flex my foot since yesterday. Becomes worse by the hour.
Checking my foot.......nothing to see.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: not bad. Just can't flex my foot.
Q: Have you seen a doc?
A: Not yet
Q: Where are you going to?
A: Mount Hagen
Q: and then?
A: Australia
Advise: As soon as you get to Cairns please see a doctor.
Here you get some antibiotics. Take them. Must board now. Take care. See the doctor in AUS! Most probably that was a spider bite.

That Aussie was a great help as normally I would have tried to just get over it and maybe that would have worsen the whole thing. lso his antibiotics (no, I don't know which kind of A is was) So "spider" rang a horrifying bell and I went to the doc to whom I showed the tablets I got in PNG from that very nice gentleman. As far as I recollect I also got some Antibiotics in Australia. But I didn't go to my doctor after return as the symptoms were gone - up until 3 months later.....

That was it....Lesson learned:

WEAR BOOTS in the tropics!


PS - sorry for hi-jacking the thread! But if you avoid any biting thing because you now wear boots - GOOD!
spassvogel is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Well spassvogle at least you got well and have not been sick since good for you.

Maybe it was a spider bite. Maybe it released a neurotoxin that temporarly effected the nerves about the bite site and caused you distress in foot flexion... ( I am guessing ).


Sorry about the hijacking also. But maybe you will wear Boots now and not go through what spassvogel encountered !

I hope you got your Yellow Fever Vaccine
Percy is online now  
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Hi Percy, I think you helped several years ago with our trip to the outback. Are you on your way to Africa, or have you just been there?
crosscheck is online now  
Jun 15th, 2010, 07:05 AM
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Hi crosscheck

I was in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar last August- September.

We had a private tour , just 2 of us, and it was terrific!

I was very lucky because I got to see the Migration, what a thrill to see thousands of Wildebeest jumping into the Mara River !!!!!

Yes, I did Trip Report after my return from Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand.

For the Africa trip last year, we dealt with a Travel Company out of Arusha Tanzania.

They were $1,000.00 cheaper per person than Travel Companies here in my home city !!!

I did a trip report last September

Take Care
Percy is online now  
Jun 15th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Percy, there was good avice in the thread. Anyhow I got the yellow fever vaccination and on all our trips to exoctic countries Imodium is and was a must.

hh253 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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Percy -
Just wanted to ask your opinion on Pepto Bismol as a preventative measure. After doing some googling I decided to try that on my recent trip to Morocco and took 6 tablets a day. I don't know if the PB had anything to do with staying healthy or not but the side effects weren't TOO terrible so I think I'll keep doing that from now on.
Leslie_S is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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Hi Leslie_S

There is no real harm in taking Pepto Bismol, unless you have an Asprin allergy.

It is not for diarrhea caused by toxin from say, E. Coli bacteria...but it will coat the linning of the stomach

and reduce some degree of inflamation and /or irritation.

It is pleasant tasting also , so you can chew the tablets, as you would an antacid( which by the way, Pepto Bismol has some antacid properties).

Yeah , you can get a dark tongue and dark stools from the Pepto - Bismol , but these are harmless side effects and go away when you stop the Pepto Bismol.

If you are taking Pepto- Bismol and you still get acute diarrhea, cramps, and fever ( or chills)..

then it is time for Cipro for sure, and Imodium.

The reason ,you will read about, not taking Cipro or Imodium IF you have rectal bleeding because you now have a much larger and wrose problem.

This is because perhaps you have a colon infection from an antibiotic, or bacteria,or other medication.

it is called Pseudomembranous Colitis..... and the linning of your colon is shedding in pieces, and of course blood vessles are broken and that is where the blood is coming from.

( Something like a lady having her period and having acute pain with them ....only the menstrual cycle is a "normal" event )

This is a serious condition and that is why literature will always say .. " Get yourself to the hospital.

Stay Healthy
Percy is online now  
Jun 16th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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I am glad to hear you have the Yellow Fever Vaccine and that Imodium has been your friend,when you needed one

Take care and have a great safari
Percy is online now  
Jun 18th, 2010, 04:54 AM
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Percy - thanks for the info. Hope not to ever find out what pseudomembranous colitis is like - yuk!
I do take immodium & cipro with me also just in case but haven't needed them lately thankfully.
Leslie_S is offline  

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