Say what you will about Kaiser Permanente, for me they have a good track record of keeping me informed of appointments, communications with my doctor, online records of my past medical history, etcetera.
And when I needed vaccinations for my travels, I found out they had a Trips department, with experts on hand to guide you through what vaccinations are needed based on the regions I anticipated to travel to.
Outside of my starting point (Chile), I only had a vague idea where I would go next.
But, I did have some places in mind.
Travelers Guide to Avoiding Infections, available on Amazon.
So, I dealt with large regions: South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. Aren’t those supposed to be, outside of maybe the Congo and India, the hot beds of diseases?
Based on those destinations, I got:
…and my favorite:
Malaria pills I can get quite a bit cheaper in places like Southeast Asia, or if I decide to sail the mosquito infested waters of the Amazon to Rio de Janeiro from Peru. I was quoted something like $580 for 2 week’s worth of pills, whereas in Thailand it’s like $10 USD.
I don’t know, they all seem to mimic the flu at first, and then you either recover or die. What I found surprising was how many people malaria kills per year: 400,000.
But the travel forums seem to be a tad cavalier about it. “Malaria? Why are you worried about that? It’s Dengue you have to be concerned about!” I’d rather not get anything, thank you very much!
I researched, and found that Dengue Fever is more of a concern than malaria, with no known cure. Application of Deet is the only answer. That, and avoiding areas with standing water.
Apparently, some vaccinations hurt more than others. Something to do with how deep they each need to be injected. I’ve met phlebotomists that I wanted to punch in the face the way they jiggled the needle.
But the nurse who gave me my injections was some kind of needle artist, as he was so quick, and most were relatively painless.The first 3 in my left shoulder I barely noticed. The right shoulder had it’s painful moments, but I didn’t stick around to ask what they were.
My shoulders did get progressively sorer the next few hours, but didn’t hamper me much. I even went indoor rock climbing!
The next morning my shoulders were still sore, but much less so, and by the evening I would only feel the soreness when I pressed directly on the injection points. No other complications such as headaches and fever that some people experience.
After the vaccinations, I was handed a yellow paper proving I had the Yellow Fever shot. ‘Keep this with you, some countries require you to be inoculated against Yellow Fever as a requirement for entry,’ the nurse informed me.
Another item down in my preparation for my travels!
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Originally published at gripandclip.com.