travel preparations, etc

May 26th, 2000, 01:18 PM
Van Ngo
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travel preparations, etc

I'll be spending a lot of time in areas outside of large cities in Viet Nam in June-July. I'm staying in my relative's homes so there's no A/C! I'm worried about being comfortable in the heat and humidity and the level of precautions I should take for my health and personal safety. For expample, I've been advised to get a mosquito net for sleeping. Where do I get that? And what's a good repellant? What are the chances of getting sick over there (diarrhea, malaria, etc)? What's the best thing to wear so that it's not so hot? Please help! Thanks, Van
May 30th, 2000, 07:42 AM
dan woodlief
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I have not been to Vietnam, but I can give you a repellent-based tip. You will probably use something with a high level of Deet in the ingredients. I have read in a nature photography book that this chemical can be harmful to plastic camera parts, so if you are carrying a camera, you may want to keep that in mind.
Jun 2nd, 2000, 06:50 PM
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I have not been to Vietnam either, but I know that you can purchase the Deet and mosquito netting from a travel catalog like Magellan's or at a local sporting/hunting goods store. Check the Centers for Disease Control website where you can search by location the medical needs/requirement for world travel. You will probably need some shots and malaria pills.
Jun 7th, 2000, 12:01 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi Van,

You can find mosquito netting at travel and camping supply stores. Where are your relatives? If you're landing in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, you'll be able to buy it there for a fraction of the cost you'd pay for it in the States. It's also likely your relatives will have netting or at least electric fans which work well at keeping the mosquitos at bay.

Instead of products containing DEET, I would recommend AVON Skin So Soft. The US Forest Service uses it. You can get it scented or unscented and I think it is now available with sunscreen. You can try calling the 1-800 number for AVON and they'll find you a local sales representative. A little goes a long way.

It's too late for you to get a Hepatitis vaccine, but you might see if you can get a shot of gamma gobulin before you leave. Personally, I prefer taking precautions to prevent malaria (mosquito netting, repellants, etc.) over prophylaxis (medication) which do not work for all strains of malaria and often have unpleasant side-effects. We've been to Vietnam twice and didn't have any diarrhea or other intestinal problems.

Remember to drink lots of (bottled) water. Take the basic precautions and you'll be fine.

Vietnam is a wonderful, fascinating place. I'm sure you'll have a great time, especially since you'll have the opportunity to be with relatives.

Please feel free to email me directly for more specific information.

Bon voyage!

Dec 2nd, 2000, 07:19 AM
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Just for anybody's info that will be going:
I just got back from a conference on Tropical diseases. An antimalarial for profylaxis such as Malarone is recommended as well as precaustions such as DEET and bug nets. See you doctor or travel clinic and have a risk assessment performed. Antimalarials may be contraindicated for older travellers. As mentioned above, AVON Skin-so-soft bug repellent works... FOR ABOUT 30 MINUITES! It is NOT recommended. Check out and pull up "Mosquitoes and Mosquito Repellants: a clinician's guide" by M.S. Fradin or go directly to the site at

You may also need vaccinations for rabies, tetanus, polio, Typhoid, Hep A+B, Japanese Encephalitis and influenza. Again have your physician do a risk assessment as to where you are travelling and the length of your stay.

Also there is now a combined Hepatitus A and B innoculation as well as an accelerated Hep B innoculation which may be given last minute. Ask your doctor.
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