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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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Old 18 Apr 2012
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Vaccinations for Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

This is the list of vaccinations my GP has recommended for my motorcycle tour of the Stans, going for seven weeks. Hep A, Hep B, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Tick borne Encephalitis. I have already had Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid and the other usual UK vaccinations. I will have Hep A and B. But not sure if the others are needed.

So what is the consensus Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Tick borne Encephalitis for the Stans necessary or over kill? What do you think.

Thanks Nick
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Old 19 Apr 2012
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TBE I would definitely go for - it's a horrid horrid thing and so easy to defend against - and heading to the stans you're right in the middle of the hot spot - having said that if you're not camping and only staying in cities the risk would be low.

Rabies - well - Rabies can kill you - and still does kill a lot of people. The practical reality is that by the time the symptoms are presented it's too late to do anything - which is why treatment is automatically given after and questionable interaction (generally a bite) from an animal that could be a carrier. If you have the jab in advance you save yourself 3 injections into the stomach if you do get bitten - if you don't have it and do have an interaction that would require treatment you'd need 6. Again rabies is very common on your route.

JE - Meh... well - it's very serious if you do get it. Major risk areas are the far east and south east asia. You're right on the lines between the hot spots and medium risk areas so it's your call - again it'd figure how much camping I would be doing and how far east I'd be. At the end of the day if you get it your brain swells until you die. Got to worth a jab right?


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Old 19 Apr 2012
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I've done a mile or two in Russia over the last 6 years.

Never had so much as a rumbling tum - even when living on almost only berries and swamp water for a couple of days along the east BAM.

The only precaution I take (apart from hangover relief) is TBE - but that is depending on the region and time of year.

Not all ticks are infected and those that are infected can only pass it to Humans during a fairly short time period of the life cycle.

TBE is not just across all of Russia - it extends through most of east Europe and southern Scandinavia as far west as Germany and the Low Countries

However it occurs only in a fairly narrow lattitude band and is not in the Stans except the very north of Kazakhstan.

Immunisation is a couple of injections a few weeks apart and a certain time before exposure. A specialist State clinic in Moscow charged about £20 each. They did the first and we took the other with us and 'her indoors', a Doctor, administered the second for free!
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Old 29 Apr 2012
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Thanks Matt and Tony P for the comments. Anybody else?

I have tried to look up the risk for TBE in for late July early Aug for Eastern Kaz and Kyrgyz do you know if the is medium or high risk months and area?

Thanks Nick
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Old 29 Apr 2012
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In Australia I asked my local travel medicine centre about getting the TBE injections for Russia and found it was practically impossible - apparently the vacine isn't normally held in-country so is very expensive if you want it. The doctors advice was that if I decided I wanted to get it as soon as I arrived in Russia. As it was I was out of the season (arrived late July) so didn't bother.

Anyway if you decide you do need it - its worth checking out the practicalities of getting it at home versus organising it in Russia.

In the end I only had the standard injections - most importantly getting my tetanus up to date.
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Old 29 Apr 2012
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Go for everything, Bar the JE Liverpool School of Tropical medicine told me JE is a live vacine and if you are in a JE area less than 3 months you stand more chance of dying from the vaccine,(but its your choice) You will be really glad you got the Rabies when a wakhan hound is playing chase through his village (they are working dogs and can run faster than you can ride on there roads)

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Old 18 Jun 2012
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I'm doing a similar trip to the OP. We're both on the same flight to Almaty and our bikes are in the same container.

In addition to the usual, on Saturday I started courses of injections for HepB, TBE and Rabies. I went for Rabies because of the nurse's advice: It gives you more time to get somewhere for help if bitten and you might not need help if bitten because the jabs you've had will do the trick. However, the reason why you should still seek medical help following an incident is because the jabs you've had may not be enough. (injections at 0,7, 21 to 28 days, then ok for life, or until you die of rabies?!! )

My main anti dogbite preventative measure though is virtually rigid plastic/leather mx boots (Alpinestars Tech 6).

HepB because if I need blood following a crash, my chances of not dying from contaminated blood are higher. (injections at 0,7, 21 to 28 days, 1 year, 5 years, then ok for life?!). Also, I always carry a sterile needle kit.

TBE: because it's so common, including in Europe (injections 0 and 28 days, 5 to 12 months, then ok for 3 years). I'll be buying a tick remover too.

I found the following website very useful: NaTHNaC | Travellers

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Old 18 Jun 2012
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I am pretty certain the rabies injections are no longer given in the stomach after a bite according to the nurse that gave me mine.
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