confused about meds needed- what did you do?

i was told to look at the cdc and discuss with doctor. cdc seems confusing to me and i got 2 different opinions from 2 docs at my doctors office.

would appreciate what anyone else did just to get a better understanding .

thak you.

Comments

  • Larry. Not surprised that there are differences of opinion between physicians and also with the CDC recommendations. We went to a Travel Clinic that is part of an Infectious Disease Practice to get their guidance before traveling to S. Africa and Zimbabwe. Good luck getting it sorted out and have a great trip. This trip is on our list.
  • AshvEd wrote:
    Larry. Not surprised that there are differences of opinion between physicians and also with the CDC recommendations. We went to a Travel Clinic that is part of an Infectious Disease Practice to get their guidance before traveling to S. Africa and Zimbabwe. Good luck getting it sorted out and have a great trip. This trip is on our list.


    thank you for the reply. the dr's i spoke with both internists with infectious disease specialties. since they cant agree, i thought i'd ask what medicine (pills, shots,etc)people have taken that have been on this trip prior.
  • edited December 2017
    larrylarry wrote:
    thank you for the reply. the dr's i spoke with both internists with infectious disease specialties. since they cant agree, i thought i'd ask what medicine (pills, shots,etc)people have taken that have been on this trip prior.

    Everybody is different- you really shouldn't base your decisions on what others have taken. Did both doctors take into account your age and personal health? Did you tell them specifically where you would be traveling. If so I would go with the most conservative recommendation- the one recommending broadest coverage.

    Reasons: (1) generally it can't hurt to take ones you may not need (2) who knows what will happen (disease outbreak) between now and when you are scheduled to go, (3) will you take other trips (Tauck, etc.) to Africa, India, S.E. Asia, South America, etc. in the future- you may need the additional shots for those areas- why not get them now. Most are effective for many years, (4) who knows who and what you will be in contact with on the ground and the plane. (5) It is better to be safe than sorry.

    I'm retired military so we went to the nearest base for our shots- we saw a true travel medical expert who suggested and gave us a full battery of shots and oral prophylaxis typically given to Marines prior to overseas deployments to third world countries, even inoculations that are sometimes not suggested or optional for those over 60 (we are over 60) like the Yellow Fever shot. (you don't want to carry a waiver and hope that immigration at a border will accept it). We had absolutely no problems with adverse reactions.

    Also, ask the doctor for a just-in-case supply of an oral antibiotic (Cipro, etc.) for gastro-intestinal issues- OTC (and some prescription) medications (Pepto Bismol, Imodium, Kaopectate, etc. and prescription Lomotil) for nausea and or diarrhea only deal with the symptoms (you pack a supply of that also), but not the cause.
  • As usual, AlanS has done a great job of giving you advice. There are a variety of ways to prepare for this trip. I also went to a specialist for international travel and received a variety of prophylaxis medications for the trip. You need to find a doctor you have confidence in and follow his/her advice. I don't think I had quite as many medications as AlanS did, but the ones I was given worked well. I also was given two Rx for antibiotics (GI issues and Upper respiratory issues...not all antibiotics are for generic issues). OTC meds are a must.

    I will make several more suggestions for you:

    1. Any oral use of water (drinking, brushing your teeth, etc.) must be done with bottled water
    a. if you drink any water from a bottle make sure you, or someone you are with, open it. If a waiter brought open bottles of water to our table I either told them to exchange it or I didn't drink from it.
    b. use bottled water to brush your teeth.
    c. when in the shower, keep your mouth shut.
    d. I always put a wash cloth over the water spigot in the bathroom so as to remind me to use the bottled water. By habit, you will find yourself reaching to rinse your toothbrush under the spigot.

    2. Food needs to approached carefully. Although this is not a culinary tour, the food is wonderful. The raw veggies and fruit looked wonderful. It was difficult to not eat them. Tauck promises they are rinsed in filtered water. Tauck is not in the kitchen with the folks preparing your food and they can't be sure. Even if the food is rinsed with filtered water, it only takes one part or piece of a contaminated foodstuff to cause you problems. It isn't that the food and water are so bad, it is that we are so clean that minute contaminates can cause an issue. I saw people eat raw fruits and veggies that never had an issue and I saw people get very sick after eating them. Was it the cause? I don't know. I just didn't take the chance. I heard people say, "But they look and taste so good." I figured it wasn't like I was never going to eat another salad or piece of fruit for the rest of my life. It meant I would just not eat them for two weeks. I followed these guidelines:
    a. Boil it,
    b. Cook it,
    c. Peel it,
    d. Forget it.
    As always, it is your call.

    3. Watch out for the bugs. I didn't have any issues with Tsetse flies or any other insects, but others did. If you are prone to being "mosquito food" just put on some Deet or other chemical of your choice. There is a spray out there that Special Forces, especially SEALS use. I forget the name but you can Google it. There are other ways to treat your clothes as well.

    OK, that is the end of my suggestions. Take them for what they are worth. If you are careful, you'll have a great trip seeing some wonderful country, animals, and people. Remember, that was my focus. After all that was what I was there for, not to spend time praying to the porcelain gods. This was my favorite trip of all time. I was lucky to have some wonderful guides and great companions to remember for the rest of my life. I'm glad I took precautions to be able to enjoy them all.

    As AlanS said, "Everybody is different" and you should base your preparation and behavior based on what you deem important. Everything I have said was based on what I took the trip for. I wasn't there for the food (I love food), I was there to see one of the most spectacular places in the world. Enjoy it.
  • We are doing our third Africa trip in July ... this one which we have done before. We are over 70 and this is the list that we have fulfilled:

    Hep A and B
    Typhoid
    Yellow fever
    Malaria
    Tetanus

    We did not eat ‘outside’ food, and we did eat everything offered at the Tauck hotels, and camps.
    My wife became ill for a day at Camp Kalahari on the South Africa trip. I did not. We ate the same stuff.
    We drank bottled water all of the time. Water does not have to be bad to cause a problem, just ‘different’.
    It is always possible to encounter things that your body has never seen before. When I was an International Airline Pilot I made a point of trying a little bit of everything to hopefully build up some immunity. Never had a problem during those years. I would consider the above list. I have read that the Yellow Fever vaccine is difficult to come by right now in the U.S. Fulfilling the above list takes time ... weeks or months.
  • edited December 2017
    We have all the vaccines mentioned by Sealord under our belts plus are up to date with all the usual booster vaccines that all Americans should have whether traveling or not, an annual flu shot, the extra pneumonia shot, tdap, shingles ( there is a new better shingles vaccine soon to be available that we will also get) we had the Yellow fever vaccine ten years ago, another is no longer required. We have never had reactions of any sort to vaccines apart from a slightly sore arm sometimes, we take the Malaria meds each time we go to a Malaria risk country, different types depending on the country we are going to. We have had 5 trips to Africa now, 4 of them with Tauck. We have been to lots of countries with Tauck now that require all or most of these shots, our next in just seven weeks.
    We are of an age to have suffered from Measles, chicken pox and all those other diseases that killed millions. we are so grateful to the scientists who labored to give us the means to live without the fear pf catching them. we are thankful to our modern hero Bill Gates for plowing so much money into Malaria erradication research.
    We always read the CDC amd WHO guidelines and I also read what the British and Australian health websites say because frankly, more people travel internationally in proportion to the US. and they are clearer. we know our medical history and our regular medications. We certainly don't want to bring home anything to our grandchildren.
    If you intend to travel to many of the Tauck exotic vacations, please get your vaccinations up to date and find a Dr who knows his/ her stuff, preferably a Dr who has traveled out of the US. There really are some ignorant drs out there.
  • And, when you have decided on which of the esoteric inoculations and medications to take, throw in some good old cold and respitory medications! While on both our Africa and India trips we had no gastric problems, but a virulent respitory/ cold thing ran through the groups! On both trips the “ cold” arrived with a fellow traveler and managed to affect almost everyone in the group to some degree.
  • Gee, the whole gang rang in on this one! Glad to see you back Nial!
  • joycesw wrote:
    And, when you have decided on which of the esoteric inoculations and medications to take, throw in some good old cold and respitory medications! While on both our Africa and India trips we had no gastric problems, but a virulent respitory/ cold thing ran through the groups! On both trips the “ cold” arrived with a fellow traveler and managed to affect almost everyone in the group to some degree.
    Yes, any illness apart from one on our trips, has come from fellow travelers who arrived ill with a cold or fever on the tour. Beware of fellow travelers and keep those hands away from your face.
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