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I was shot 3 times today!

Once for Yellow Fever, Once for Typhoid, and once for Hepatitis A! 😉 (The typhoid hurts like a mo-fo)

In prep for my upcoming trip to Peru in November I visited the Government of Canada Travel Reports & Warnings page like I always do when researching a new country or making trip plans. I recommend this site to anyone traveling but I warn you that these reports are slightly dramatic. They are also geared toward Canadian citizens however many countries will have their own versions of the site and the information is similar. To understand how to take the dramatic warnings I suggest you look up countries that you have been to so you can add some perspective. For example virtually every country in the world will talk about things like pickpocketing and crime. This is basic advice for any travel destination. Don’t let it freak you out, basic message is be safe and travel alert.

So reading the report for Peru I realized that the Yellow fever shot was recommended for some parts of the country such as Iquitos. Also in reading the report for Brazil it says you are required to show proof of Yellow fever vaccination before entry to the country. I plan to visit Brazil next year so I booked my appointment with the Travel Health Center.

I went in thinking that I was only getting Yellow fever and was going to ask about Malaria. Well the “nurse of many needles” had other plans. We discussed how I often end up in rural locations on my travels and stay in the houses of some families. That made her check off that I was gonna get a Typhoid shot. Then she looked at my file and informed me that I was up to date on my Hep B shots but they hadn’t given me my final Hep A shot. Check mark on the Hep A. Add those to the Yellow fever shot I came for and that meant three needles.

I was glad to be so covered but it didn’t stop there. The consultation went on. We talked about mosquito netting and an insecticide called Permethrin that you can’t buy in Canada but can order from the states or they sell the nets treated with Permethrin. The BIG tip I got from her on this was you can wrap your bed in a hotel or hostel with your net when you check-in. This will kill bed bugs or other creepy crawlies like ticks, fleas, lice etc. Then when you go to bed use it as a net to keep mosquitoes away.

Then we talked about Cuzco, Peru which is 3,225 m above sea level. To ensure I enjoy the few days I will have there she recommended drinking lots of water, avoid alcohol, and eat a high carb diet. Also she prescribed Diamox® for prevention of Acute Mountian Sickness (AMS) or Altitude sickness just in case I need it.

Then for the Malaria pills. There are many options out there for Malaria prevention so you should discuss with your doctor the right one for your circumstance. For example because a number of years ago I suffered from depression and I disclosed that when she asked. She changed her recommendation because some Malaria pills can have psychotic side effects if you have ever had depression. So I have a prescription for Malarone®.

So you can see it was a very throughout visit. So much more to think about and prepare for than I originally thought. So if you are planning some adventure travel… Do your body a favor and add your doctor or local Travel Health Center to your travel planning.

2 comments to I was shot 3 times today!

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