Suitcase and World: Travel Medicine. Check.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Travel Medicine. Check.

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I love to travel to remote destinations but travel to the far corners of the globe requires extra thought and effort than if I were just hopping the pond and dropping in on western Europe.

One of the must-do's for remote travel is to find out what travel medicine is needed and to review my vaccination history to make sure everything is up to date.  Under no circumstances do I want to return home from a trip with an illness that could have been prevented if I had only taken the necessary precautions in advance.  I don't want to be a stupid traveler.

As far as getting medical information for travel is concerned, by go to source is the website of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (aka the CDC).  The CDC Travelers' Health website provides comprehensive, up-to-date information medical information for travelers.

As an experienced traveler, I know that I cannot wait until the last minute to get vaccine or medicine as some need to be taken well in advance of when you arrive into the country.  Others often need a series of injections separated by a specific time period between shots e.g., two shots, a month a part.

I checked the information for Madagascar and fortunately, most of what is needed, I already have covered.

The only thing missing for me is Malaria so I went ahead and made an appointment with Passport Health.  According to the CDC site, the mosquitoes in Madagascar are resistant to Chloroquine so I got a prescription for Lariam which is the brand name for mefloquine.  It's important to know your country's mosquitoes!

While I was at Passport Health, I went ahead and updated my vaccine for typhoid which was just about to expire.  The last time I got vaccinated against typhoid, I had to get a shot.  Now, you take a series of 4 pills and you're good for 5 years.  I got my yellow book updated.  You can see I've had it since 1994 which is when I went on several overseas trips.  There was then a huge gap in time - 18 years!  Since 2006, I've been actively traveling and my little yellow book has been accumulating a lot of entries.  Someday, I will have to get a new one!

For now, I am good to go to Madagascar!