Hep A Shot

Dec 7th, 2005, 06:20 AM
  #1  
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Hep A Shot

I know there have been many links on this, and that I SHOULD be cautious and get this shot--but I'm just curious, if anyone has had any stomach issues when visiting Thailand (tourist areas,..Bangkok, Phuket). I eat all kinds of foods and rarely if ever have had any stomach reaction/food poisoning, but I'm not sure if Thailand is like Mexico/India in that everyone gets something. I'd rather skip the shot, and get the feeling the food is pretty safe. Of course I do plan on eating lots of seafood,etc..
cheers!
jacqui72 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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I was in India last March with about 13 people. 10 out of the 13 had stomach problems. I did not. I did get the Hep A shot, but normally I don't have stomach problems anyway, but it doesn't hurt to add a little extra protection. Like you, I eat all kinds of food. I also got another Hep A booster shot six months after I returned which supposedly gives lifetime immunity. Since you can get Hep A in the west, you certainly don't have to be roughing it in a third world country, I think it's a good thing to do. My insurance covered it, but even if it didn't, it wasn't that expensive. I'm glad I played it safe and got the shot. I think many other people on my trip wish they would have done the same
Dori is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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You can get Hep A anywhere in the world. I have known of travelers who have gotten Hep A in Asia; I also know people who have gotten Hep A in the US. Hep A vaccine is one of those things one should have even if you don't travel.

Note that the Hep A vaccine will not prevent stomach upsets. It prevents only Hep A.

Another food and water-borne illness is typhoid. It is also recommended that you have the typhoid immunization. There are antibiotic resistant strains of typhoid in SE Asia.

Many people get stomach upsets who are visiting Thailand. It doesn't always mean food poisoning. It may mean spices one is unaccustomed to etc.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Jacqui, It sounds to me like you're equating Hepatitis A with stomach upsets such as "travelers' diarrhea". It really is not the same thing at all.

From the CDC website:
Hepatitis A symptoms "may include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).  Symptoms usually last less than 2 months; a few persons are ill for as long as 6 months."

It's so simple to protect yourself. Why would you want to take the chance?

Of course, having the Hep A shot won't protect you from things like food poisoning and travelers' diarrhea- you still have to be careful what you eat.

More info from the CDC:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/disea...diarrhea_g.htm
marcy_ is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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From what I've been told, the HepA and booster do NOT provide lifetime immunity. It provides about 10 years immunity, unless there is another HepA shot I don't know about?
laurieco is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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I had also read that the Hep A booster shot provides 10 years immunity. But when I got my booster a couple of months ago, I specifically asked. They said it was lifetime. Either way, I'll worry about it ten years from now!
Dori is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Just pulled from a travel clinic website:

"Hepatitis A - a viral illness that is acquired through ingesting infected food or water. Hepatitis can make people very ill with an increasing mortality with advancing age. Travelers going to areas where it is present are advised to have an initial shot, which is good for 12 months. A booster shot given 6-12 months will increase the immunity for at least 10 to 20 years (likely lifelong)"
Dori is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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I just went to Thai's website and it appears that to upgrade from economy to business is 40,000 or 50,000, depending on the ticket (Y,B,M are 40k; all others are 50k; no upgrading from V or W) but how on earth do you know which ticket you get and the price difference????
laurieco is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Disregard that last post, I posted it in the wrong thread! Sorry!
laurieco is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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Back to HepA after my mistake (does anyone know how to make an emoticon that blushes?)

So, the booster is good for life only if you live another 10-20 years? What if you live for 30 or more? That makes no sense.
laurieco is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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As someone who caught Hep A in England at 17, and spent her grad in the hospital, the shot is worth every cent. I still suffer from liver damage, which is the major result of Hep A, so I made my husband and kids get the shot and booster. We tend to travel on the budget side, and eat many local foods, so I always carry loperamide, gastrolyte, and antiacid for stomach upsets.
meadowbay is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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We got hep A vaccines last year before going to Bali...but only had time for 2 of the 3 required doses for the version we were getting. We were told that 1 dose was better than none, 2 doses better than 1, and 3 doses would provide almost complete protection.

My husband DID get hep A in Bali...was very, very ill...exhausted like he's never felt before in his life, stomach pains, and severe diarhea (which might have been a stomach bug other than hep A). When we returned to Japan the first day back he had his annual physical from work. The do a standard blood test, and his liver counts were way high. They sent him off to the university hospital for more testing. Hep A...and not the sort of virus counts you might see as a vaccine reaction, but the real thing. Doctor told him that he was lucky to have had the vaccine, as he'd have been most likely hospitalized for weeks had he not had partial immunity.
KimJapan is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Here's what the confusion about the Hep A vaccine duration is about: When the new vaccine was initially approved a number of years ago, they didn't have enough long-term data to know for sure how long it would be effective. Thus they initially told people 10 years. The latest data indicates that it is effective for 20 years, and there are those who believe it will give life-long immunity. You can actually have a blood test that will determine whether you still have immunity via testing for antibodies.

In the US, anyway, the Hep A series is 2 shots, the Hep B series is three. The combined Hep A & B is three shots. There are slightly different vaccines available in other parts of the world.

Kim, I'm glad your husband had some immunity before going to Bali. Hepatitis can be a very serious illness as you know. I'm glad he had the partial immunity!
Kathie is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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Kathie, thanks for clearing up that confusion. You are a wonderful source for medical issues (and other things as well).
laurieco is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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laurieco,
Here's your emoticon: quot;>

See:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/smileys/
marcy_ is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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marcy, thanks for that. I always wondered how people got all of those different faces. I've bookmarked it for future reference. (sorry, I just had to try it).
laurieco is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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Wow...I never knew how I sometimes got those faces either! Thanks!
KimJapan is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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You're welcome!
Of course, if you really want to get fancy, you can do bold, italics, and COLORS, too!
marcy_ is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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How do you bold color italicize?
KimJapan is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 03:08 PM
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For bold print, it's < b > bold< /b>
For Italics, It's < i >italics< /i >.

For colors, It's < red >red < / red> ,
or < blue > blue < / blue >, etc.

Just leave out all the spaces. You can make lots of different colors. I don't have a complete list- you just have to experiment. (Use preview my reply)

But I think you can do yellow, green, purple, aqua, orange, cyan, pink, and lots more.
It's kind of fun every now and then, but it's time-consuming.
marcy_ is offline  

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