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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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  #1  
Old 25 Aug 2008
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Central and South American Vaccinations?

I am wondering what vaccinations I should get before motorcycle trip November 1st? What do you think is required vs recommended? How much malaria meds should I take with me for a year maybe longer? I will only take it in areas I know have a high risk. Also I have not been able to find any information DENGUE, nobody in Boulder, Denver, Colorado area seems to have heard of it? Any help would be great? I just don't want to go to a travel clinic and get 50 recommended vaccinations and come out with 50 holes in my body and pay $500 so any help knowing what vaccinations I should get would be great.
Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 26 Aug 2008
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http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationList.aspx

Has recommendations there depending on what it is you're doing or where you're going
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  #3  
Old 26 Aug 2008
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So what I have come up with for recommended shots for Central and South America are,

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Prescription for Malaria (Talk to a doctor for more information on what type to take, some prescriptions don't in certain areas)
Typhoid
Rabies
Yellow Fever
Dengue (I have not found anyone around here that even knows about this disease but it has been on the incline in recent years so it is worth checking out. The Website from above has some great information from country to country. A lady at AAA had recommended it to me also. Calling AAA is another great resource I have found. Hope this helps anyone interested.
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Old 26 Aug 2008
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I'm not looking forward to the immunisations at all... if I were you I'd also find out which ones need to be done in advance and only do them if you need them.
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Old 27 Aug 2008
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I agree with you pockethead,
These are the most common diseases down there (I have found). I am not looking forward to these either but if it is going to save me from getting ill and having to keep up on it for the rest of my life I will get them done. The ones that I listed are the vaccinations that are most commonly needed. For me all of them matter because I am taking a year plus motorcycle trip from Colorado to the tip of Argentina. Maybe you are doing the same but I plan on being in remote areas that are high risk areas and for me all of them matter. I will be seeing a doctor Thursday so I will report back after that and give an approximate cost of all vaccinations.
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  #6  
Old 27 Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruthas View Post
I agree with you pockethead,
These are the most common diseases down there (I have found). I am not looking forward to these either but if it is going to save me from getting ill and having to keep up on it for the rest of my life I will get them done. The ones that I listed are the vaccinations that are most commonly needed. For me all of them matter because I am taking a year plus motorcycle trip from Colorado to the tip of Argentina. Maybe you are doing the same but I plan on being in remote areas that are high risk areas and for me all of them matter. I will be seeing a doctor Thursday so I will report back after that and give an approximate cost of all vaccinations.
Cool thanks.
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Old 28 Aug 2008
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Update on the vaccinations. I saw a pretty cool doctor today. The only shots I "needed" and should be worried about are,
Yellow Fever
Typhoid
Hepatitis B
Prescription to Malaria 60 days worth, she said I can get more down there.
That is it. Dengue is another common disease down there with no cure yet. The mosquitos that are infected come out during the day and the only way to protect yourself is to use bug repellent with deet. She was very helpful and said there are many diseases out there but you really dont have to worry about them unless you are in certain remote areas. The whole visit with the consultaion was $375 The consultaion was $66. I hope this helps anyone who is curious about this portion off preping for their trip.
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  #8  
Old 29 Aug 2008
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Consider adding to the short list of required vaccinations a course of DUKORAL the effective oral vaccine against travellers diarrhea and cholera. You can get it at a pharmacy without prescription but may need to order it in , or get your doc to write a prescription for it .
I can vouch for its good working, haven't had one case of the trots since started using it a number of years ago for trips through Mexico and C.A.
Dukoral prevents you developing the diarrhea. Other medicine like loperamide hydrochloride ( Imodium brand name and others) go to work only after you are already dealing with the discomfort of the ailment, and they are quite strong working in your gut.
You never know when you might ingest some local bacteria.
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  #9  
Old 11 Oct 2008
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Plan early for Jabs

I will be on the road in South America in 11 weeks, lots of time to get any shots I thought. Hep A is two shots six months apart. If you are going somewhere next year go see harpoon Anny and git-r-done.

Bob
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  #10  
Old 12 Oct 2008
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Just my 2 centavos worth...

Firstly, Hepatitis A and Typhoid can be avoided by watching what you eat and drink and by taking care over your personal hygiene habits. If treated, Typhoid is rarely fatal. Hep. A is untreatable with medication but other than in those aged over 60 or so, is also rarely fatal.

Hepatitis B is not prevalent in Central/South America, is spread by invasive contact with blood or body fluids. So don't share needles and use a condom with the local lads/lasses. I'd be more worried about STD's in general though.

Rabies; invariably fatal, but when was the last time you got bitten by a dog, monkey whatever? It's very likely that locals will take care of any "loco" animals before you meet them. It's not really an issue, as I see it.

Malaria, Yellow Fever and Dengue are human diseases spread by bites from some mosquitos, during or shortly after the rainy season. Proof of Yellow Fever immunisation is necessary for travel to Brasil and therefore unavoidable, should you intend to go there. However, prevention of mosquito bites is the first line of defence. Use of appropriately treated nets, sprays, electric coils, cintronella incense and perhaps even garlic, have their place. Making sure you are protected during dusk is the most important thing.

Dengue has no prophylaxis and the treatment consists of fluids and anti-febriles.

You can be bitten once and contract these diseases, you can be bitten many times and not.

As far as I am aware, the extremely serious stains of Cerebral Malaria are not found in the Americas.

With regard to Malaria, you are only really at risk when others in the area have the disease. That's hard to know when you are travelling rapidly and so is choosing the correct prophylaxis. Prophylaxis is not a guarantee of protection and an alternative is to hold back your medication for treatment in the event that you contract the disease.

There are only some parts of Central/South America where Malaria is an issue, so you need to consider your routes. Some areas of the coast and the Amazonas are where you are going to potentially encounter problems. Above 800 metres you will not encounter problems. Problem is; if you take the correct prophylaxis and rely on it, you are going to need to keep taking the medication regardless of your location.

Should you decide to use it, in South American affected areas, (North), the prophylaxis/treatment is:

Atovaquone/Proguanil, Doxycycline, or Mefloquine.

In Central America, Ecuador and Bolivia the prophylaxis/treatment is: Chloroquine/Proguanil.

We have discussed this here before, but let's not forget that there are potential side-effects and damage associated with this medication.

Personally, I prefer to have the treatment available, take precautions, regulate my lifestyle...and see what happens.

Just my view.
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Last edited by Stretcher Monkey; 12 Oct 2008 at 05:34.
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  #11  
Old 14 Oct 2008
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Yellow fever required in more than Brazil

Be aware that Brazil, which was the only South American country requiring yellow fever vaccinations, has been joined by Panama and Ecuador.

I entered Ecuador yesterday and there was a big sign at immigration stating that yellow fever vaccinations were required. However, they did not ask me for proof of vaccination. Your milage may vary.

Panama was to start requiring yellow fever shots beginning October 1. However, since so many people traveling from Panama needed the shots -- and the only clinic where they were available was swamped -- they delayed implementation until November.
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  #12  
Old 14 Oct 2008
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Ecuador

Aparently the Yellow fever thing comes into action on the 1st of November
Al theturtleshead
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  #13  
Old 2 Feb 2009
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Specific to Australian Travellers

Hi

With regard to Yellow Fever vac. If you are an Aussie, you must have a specific vaccination booklet showing you have a current vaccination. This is NOT for the country you are going to, it is for you to prove to the Aussie quarantine people when you go back home.

Without this Yellow Fever pass, you will not be allowed back home, except if you stay in quarantine for the required time period.

So, after it has been filled out, guard it with your life

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  #14  
Old 11 Feb 2009
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malaria

You dont need to take 1 year reserve of tablets.
When travelling, I just made sure to go to a pharmacy and enquired of malaria zones where I was planning next destination. We never went to areas where malaria was a significant risk hence never used our tablets!
We only had doxycycline for 1 month with us.
Whatever you need, you can buy cheaper locally. In countries like Bolivia or Peru, where (according to a local doctor who warned us) many medicines could be fake. Use hospitals pharmacy to buy anything you need, or well established pharmacies. We just did that and it was ok. I would not travel with a big pharmacy box again. We got rid of most our stuff along the way, just too bulky and medecines are available locally.
Also, as said above, you may require a different anti-malarial depending on regions. In that case it is best to buy locally.

My husband need strong medication for high blood pressure. We bought tehm as we went along. No need for prescription, the pharmacists where always helpful and when we asked nicely checked his blood pressure for free.

Healthcare (private) overall in these countries when we needed it, was cheap and very good.

For rabies, dogs are out of control in Argentina, running wild in packs, and if you read the local papers, you will find out that they do attack and bite people! I got bitten once and nearly got bitten several more times. Most dangerous when walking in the street.
Take care with them and only if for peace of mind, get vaccinated. When walking around, if a dog (or a pack) threaten you, go down and take a stone (or pretend you do). that should send them running away.
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  #15  
Old 15 Apr 2009
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Salut Maria!

I was looking exactly for that info!
Thanks. Au prochain verre,
Isabelle & John, Wimbledon xox
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