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Vaccinations

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Jun 10th, 2014, 09:33 AM
  #1
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Vaccinations

Planning for my India trip in December. We will be going to Delhi, Rajastan, Varanasi, and Kolkata. We will be getting the basic vaccines but are undecided on malaria pills. Really dont want to take antibiotcs for a month and I hear the other medications are expensive and have side effects. I, hoping the weather will be cool and there won't even be many mosquitos around. I have searched around and read mixed things. Any input would be appreciated.

Thank you!
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Jun 10th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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I feel the same about the antibiotics but take them on occasion. The general wisdom seems to be that unless you plan to spend extended time in rural areas, the likelihood of contracting malaria is low (not zero). I've taken doxycycline on occasion for month-long and longer stays in other rural Asian areas. However, for a short visit, just to be sure, you might want to just go ahead and take them along with the usual measures, cover up & use repellent with deet, which may be worse for you than the doxy but malaria is the absolute worst. Also sunscreen for the increased photosensitivity.

On the other hand, food-borne illness in India is so common that you won't want to neglect getting a Hepatitis A vaccination.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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Here is a link to the UK NHS website showing the high and low risk areas for Malaria.

http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/...laria-map.aspx

there is a lot of additional and specific info on that site as well

The best thing you can do is consult a specialist travel clinic who will have current info on which Malaria prophylactics, if any, are required. I have experienced side effects from Malaria meds (relatively minor) and have also had malaria (not an experience i care to repeat).

whatever you decide, the only 100% effective solution is not to get bitten. loads of Deet, long sleeves and long pants. Dengue fever may also be a problem so apply Deet during the day as well.

Malaria meds like Malarone are expensive so the only cheaper alternative is Doxycyline but do check which are the appropriate meds for the region as not all are effective everywhere
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Jun 10th, 2014, 10:42 AM
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Thank you, that helps so much!
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Jun 10th, 2014, 11:43 AM
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Malaria is a danger in India in urban as well as rural areas. A recent study found that malaria was underreported in Delhi, but that there were many cases. So use repellant no matter where you are.

Doxycycline is effective only if you take it reliably every day, near the same time, and continue it for a full 4 weeks after leaving the malarial risk area. No question, malarone is more expensive, but there dis now a generic. If you are anywhere where there is a Costco, they have the lowest prices on generic malarone and you don't have to be a member to buy from the pharmacy.

In addition to Hep A, do get the typhoid vaccine as it is a food and waterborne illness as well.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Prescription drugs are much, much cheaper in Asia and often available without a prescription. If you'll be stopping on your way to India, and cost is a factor, you might look into buying what you decide to take there. Also vaccinations, got a typhoid booster in Bali for next to nothing.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Malarone is not generally available for purchase in Asia. There are some limited exceptions, a hospital in KL, a couple of medical centers in Hong Kong, a couple of clinics in Tokyo, hospitals in Singapore, but it is not available at any pharmacy like many other drugs are in SE Asia.

While vaccinations are cheap run Asia, it takes time for your body to build immunity - a week to several weeks depending on the vaccine and the individual. Personally, I think the typhoid vaccine is important enough to spend the money on it here at home.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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For a UK based traveller the sound advice is to make an appointment with your local GP travel clinic at least 6 weeks before travel.

The nurse (he or she) will have your medical records in front of her/him, and so have a bit of knowledge of your medical history.

You'll get a FREE 30 minutes (or so) one-2-one consultation with a specialist. You'll discuss all sorts including lifestyle, where you plan to tread, length of time there, and anything else that might concern you.

The info will be fed onto a database, and at the end of your appointment you'll be given a hard copy personal health brief. That brief will be solely for the trip you've just discussed.

The beauty is that, if you have to put in a medical claim against your travel insurance then at least you'll have something to support your claim.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 01:43 PM
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"While vaccinations are cheap run Asia, it takes time for your body to build immunity.."

Yes, of course, the information was general regarding drugs and vaccinations. Not for a quick trip in and out, but for those spending more time in the region.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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People who prepare their trips properly, and start their preparation months in advance won't/shouldn't encounter any problems.

There's a common saying...

"Failing to Prepare = Preparing to Fail!".
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Jun 10th, 2014, 03:06 PM
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Common? Never heard it.

Someone, I think, even more pompous than I am.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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I took Malarone daily for 2 months while in India this year.
I wasn't anxious to take a drug daily for that long, but based on our itinerary, there didn't seem much way round it. Also I'd taken it before and had no problems. And I'm a mosquito magnet. So I did it, no problems (well at least that I know of so far . .ha ha). Husband chose not to.
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Jun 10th, 2014, 10:03 PM
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"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin
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