recomended vaccines?

Old Nov 5th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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recomended vaccines?

Hi,
I haven't been to Costa Rica for a few years and I'm wondering if anything has changed as far as recomended vaccines or malaria meds??? We didn't bother than, but what are they saying, and what are people doing now?
Thanks!
tbelgian
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 03:56 AM
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We've had Hep A and Hep B vaccine and have survived multiple visits.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 04:47 AM
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You'll get a mix of answers here, all based on personal comfort. Myself have had none, some go the whole regime, it's really up to you. Except for a few remote, rarely traveled areas malaria cases have been pretty quiet.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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Here's the CDC travel site if you want official word. IMO everyone should have updated immunizations including tetanus and Hep A, traveling or not. For malaria, keep in mind that it can be a life-long plague once contracted - not to be messed with if you're going into an area where it's present. Happy trails!
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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We chose not to get any, but of course it's your own personal decision. I was curious about what other people do, so I asked our guide in the Osa, and he said the thing he worries about most was Dengue fever, but that there is no preventative for that. He didn't take any meds or vaccines. Dengue was in the news a lot when we were there, but it was more a factor on the Caribbean side.

Nothing is required, so it's just your own personal choice.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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I never tell my customers not to get any immunizations, simply because everyone is so litigious these days. I worry about lawsuits. It only takes one person with a bug bite.

Personally, I have nothing more than an updated tetanus shot. I have literally been to Costa Rica over a hundred times. Same thing goes for my wife, who has been almost as much. We have sent thousands of people over the last fifteen years. I am not aware of anyone we have assisted getting sick there. Sanitation is not a problem, and the water is probably better than you are drinking at home!

Dengue is something to be aware of. But if you make sure you use your mosquito repellent, this is not usually a serious threat.

There are some small incidences of malaria in remote areas. But not usually in the places that tourists frequent.

But before you take the prophylactic medications for malaria, read about them online. I have always felt that the small risk was not worth the common and uncomfortable side effects

If I was going to Africa or Malaysia, I would rethink this. But not for Costa Rica.

The biggest complaint that I hear about is sun poisoning. The rays are a lot stronger near the equate than even in Florida. Sun poisoning will lay you out for a day, and give you fever and diarrhea. Many folks mistake this as a bug from bad water or food. But if you put on a hat and wear your sunscreen, you will be fine.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
(Travel professional)
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Hi, Pat - can you enlighten us about the side effects you were talking about?
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Just do an online search, and you will see what I am talking about.

All drugs carry a risk of minor side effects. The anti malarials can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, itching, nausea, etc. But they also mention more severe ones. Everything from psychotic dreams to depression. These drugs can also mess with a woman's menstrual cycle, and cause migraines. Some can be hard on your liver as well.

These are also the types of drugs that have to build up in your body over the course of two or three weeks before you depart. So if you experience a side effect, it is possible that it may not go away until the drug is out of your system. Even if you have stopped taking it. Who wants a two week migraine?

I am not trying to be an alarmist here, or pretend to know more about medicine than I really do. It just makes sense to educate yourself about the drugs you are taking. It is important to make an informed decision.

My personal choice is to not take these drugs. I don't think that these precautions are essential for your typical trip to San Jose, Monteverde, Quepos, Arenal, Poas, Guanacaste, etc.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
(Travel professional)
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for a good answer Pat.

Like you mentioned about the side effect, it depends on which anti malaria drug you are using.

These are not benign medications.

I was in the Brazil Amazon in March 2007 and of course I took the anti malaria medication.

I took Malarone, which is a newer and much more effective drug and with less side effects then say , Chloroquin...in fact many areas where malaria is prevalent, it is resistent to chloroquin !

Denmark is way ahead of us ...they have been using this drug since 1998.

It seems we are always last to approve a newer medication, maybe the FDA is being more carful!?

But I agree I would not personally take Malarone if I was going to Costa Rica.

Percy

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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Yes, thanks for the info. You too Percy!
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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Your welcome volcanogirl !!!!!!


Percy
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 03:29 AM
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Thank you very much! This was about what I was thinking, but wanted to find out if there are any new threads of thought on the subject. I'm glad I asked. You guys are the best! Thanks!
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