Vacinations and Medicine SA Safari

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by bandryc, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. bandryc

    bandryc New Member

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    Planning to hunt Limpopo region this July which is malaria free. However, what vaccinations (if any) and medical prescriptions are required. This is our first trip to SA.

    BAndryc
     
  2. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Your own doctor will know best what you specifically require.

    Find a local travel clinic after you read what J suggested.
     
  4. mstewart44

    mstewart44 AH Senior Member

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    Just call Vaccines On The Go at 800-268-8684. They can tell you what you need and can send a nurse right to your home or office and take care of your vaccines. I found them at the SCI show and used them last year. Service was great!
     
  5. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Bandryc,

    Definately check out all available resources, but be very area specific as to your destination when inquiring because you may be told you need certain vaccinations that you really don't need. For example, we checked with our local CDC and they told us that we could not get in the country without proof of a yellow fever vaccination which is simply not needed or true if you are flying straight into Jo'burg. The World Health Organization provides better up to date info on this.

    In '09 for traveling to SA, they recommended Hepatitiis A&B vaccines and a recent tetanus booster. That was the same recommendation we got again last May. If you plan on the Hep vacccines, they are two-stage injections. You have to get boosters for both a month apart so plan ahead accordingly. The tetanus is good for 5 years. Malaria meds are never a bad idea, but your risk is very,very small in the Limpopo region especially June-August. If you are going to Kruger, the malaria meds are recommended. Request the short dose type such as Chloroquine/Mefloquine from your doctor/clinic. They may be more $$, but the side effects minimal, and number of doses you need are less...

    Hope this helps....
     
  6. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    Please do this, there has already been some information posted on this thread that conflicts with information provided to me by my healthcare provider. Let YOUR healthcare provider advise you on what you need.
     
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    One thing I find of interest in all of this. The last three times I have gone to Africa with various meds, any discussion of the CDC while in Africa will elicit this response from your outfitter/PH; "Your CDC does not know what it is talking about!" I had quite a go-round with my PH last trip about the efficacy of using a common antibiotic for malarial prophylaxis in Zimbabwe. He simply could not grasp the concept at all. As there were zero mosquitos around (quite cool weather) I quit taking it anyway.
     
  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    While in Tanzania i was taking all these med i was told i needed and did not see a mosquito. Saw lots of teste fly's on the other hand.

    Going to South Africa id not see Mosquito's we did run across ticks. did not take any med on this trip. I had conversed with the group before hand to see if all the med's will be needed and they were not.

    Now this year going to Zimbabwe next month and i have my DR. appointment tomorrow and we will be discussing what i need, however, The weather will be warm 60 to 80 degrees and i need to be on the conscious side.

    I do think that i will be given a prescription or two maybe 3. Malaria, tick fever & diarrhea.

    The thing is talk to the PH before you leave to see what they have experienced.



     
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    James,

    Surprised you didnt see any mosquitos in Tanzania. When I was there in Dec, 1985 we had LOTS of them. The worst though was in Botswana in 1990 when I got ate alive by them. Was taking meds on both trips however. What time of year were you in Tanzania?
     
  10. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    November, first 2 weeks. It was Warm Dry...and getting dryer every day...just watched the water hole disappear...The earth dam by camp went down by over a foot while we were there. The elephants would all come in, herds of buffalo and the plains game would come in during the day. Just wished i had a better camera when they came in to drink.

     
  11. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Enthusiast

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    I am going to go against some of the advice here. I am physician, so I know something about the subspecialization of medical care. Most of us honestly don't know that much outside our area of specialization, at least by the standards of the people who do it for a living. Medical school does provide a good basic introduction to the diseases of Africa and other foreign lands, but we don't really use it after that. And with infectious diseases, the drugs needed to treat them change over time as the germs develop resistance, so even if one could remember the details of something he learned for a test 20 years ago and hasn't used since, the information is out of date anyway.

    Unless your family physician or internist has a particular interest in tropical medicine, or travel medicine, or has a lot of patients who travel to Africa, he is not likely to be fully up on what you need. He does, however, know your particular history, which will probably help the specialist. I advice working with a specialist in travel medicine. I used passport health (a chain) and was very happy.
     
  12. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    Bert has it right, no local Doc has the chance of knowing each region. I lecture at a Med School and am a SA resident. I get calls from the infectious disease guys a lot. No shots are needed for where you are heading. If you are going to change plans and go near the Moz border antimalarial is a good idea, mefloquine is my first choice. One consdideration is to take over a course of tetracycline. The small ticks, pepper ticks, carry tick bite fever. If you feel like the flu is coming on take the 10 day course, nothing negative to it if it is something else. There are a ton of medical services in your area, stick with Medicross.

     
  13. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Please advise us on what posted information conflicts with what you have been told by your health care provider...? The correct information will surely benefit us all....

    In regards, to my first reply, I appologize for any confusion... The Hepatitus A & B, and tetanus vacccines are RECOMMENDATIONS, not required immunizations. Based on the fact that our County Health Dept. has an office that specializes in travel medicine told us that over 60% of the South African populace has either Hep A,B, or C, we decided to get them. The fact is that currently, there are NO REQUIRED IMMUNIZATIONS to enter SA from the USA... Anything you decide to do will be an elective precaution.
     
  14. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Most Doctors will not know what you will need.

    Visit your travel Doctor, Dr. assistant or Travel Nurse.

    First they will go over your Yellow card with you.

    They will want to know the number of days that you will be in what country and if it will in in urban or rural settings and what you are doing.

    They will go over a check list for each country...Some you will need shots and other it will be at your discretion.

    Some like Hepatitis A & B will take many months to complete the 3 shots.

    Yellow fever if you need will have to be ordered and you have to be there to get your shot.

    The list will go on and on.

    When you have your base of travel shots recorded on your Yellow card the options become easier.

    What many of us above have went through is we have taken recommended medicines and have not encountered issues while we were on Safari.

    Being new You should be starting about 1 year before going to have every thing in the card before leaving.

    Most of us take the medicines to prevent us from becoming ill on our safari. After you have taken a trip or two you will be saying some of the same things we have posted.

    If you have health insurance check to see if they offer a travel nurse (Mine did) and you tell them where you will be and for how many days and when you show up they will go over the recommended shots or oral medicine you will need. If you elect to not take some of these shots when you travel this could result in your not being able to travel form one country to another.

    again your travel nurse will know what is recommended and it is your choice if you want to take the recommended medicines. Be guided that if you elect to not take some of the recommended medicines you may be barred for entering a country. Then what do you do>
     
  15. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    Nicely written, it isn't about what is required, it's about what is a good idea. As written here you see a different presentation regarding hepatitis vaccinations than was presented in an earlier post. While Bert is a physician and I won't ever argue medicine with him, I will debate thinking and behavior with him. (My profession). One of the benefits of having your own doctor discuss your travels with you is he knows you. Mine went over my chart, gave me a quick physical check, checked my vaccinations, referred me to a travel nurse who also reviewed my chart. She made some recommendations (which is all doctors and nurses do, they can't ORDER you to do anything except in rare cases. Governments can tell you, though) It was good I checked, my tetanus vaccination was almost due. I was given an rx for diarrhea should I need it and we discussed medical coverage in travel insurance. I followed their recommendations on hep A and a couple other diseases just for safety's sake. She also reviewed my plan for insuring that my one prescription that I take would arrive with me.

    So, now answer this: Why would you NOT consult with your own healthcare provider before you travel 10,000 miles from home to a foreign country where you will know nothing of medical and disease hazards that might be waiting for you?
     
  16. mstewart44

    mstewart44 AH Senior Member

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    I am not trying to toot the horn for anyone, but Vaccines On The Go specializes in travel medicine. In fact, thats all they do. There are others out there I'm sure but I can vouch for their service. You can find a link to them on the CDC website. My doctor didn't have a clue what I needed and they told me what was required and recommended. Even provided me with the yellow card. Just give them a call.
     
  17. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Your local county health dept can often provide needed meds for travel as well. I use mine for this as they actually have a travel nurse. They usually go by whatever the CDC says however. Prices have gone up lots for some of the shots I found out last summer.
     
  18. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    This post started from a new AH member simply inquiring as to what what vaccinations were required to travel to the Limpopo region of South Africa....Since then, there has been a flood of opinions and recommendations, some based in fact, and some not. Most of it does not pertain to his original inquiry about what he needs for his particular destination..... And to Mr. O Good, I still don't see what information posted was inaccurate? If you were referring to the process for Hep vaccines, the actual sequence is as follows:

    1) First vaccination followed by a second injection in 30-45 days.
    2) A third booster is recommended at the 3 month mark for "high risk individuals" or health care providers, but it is not mandatory. A titer can be done to see if the antibody is present.
    3) Unfortunately, no vaccine available for Hep C...

    I am a health care provider and I do come in contact with "high-risk" individuals all the time. I also distribute these and many other vaccines to other health care providers, so I think I am qualified to answer this one...

    The point is that this poor guy is probably scared to death to go anywhere now... The FACTS are these: There are no required immunizations to travel to SA.... A Yellow Card is not required...There ARE several recommended precautions that each individual should be aware of and discuss with a health care professional that specializes in travel medicine. Your personal health care provider is not an expert on this subject. And finally, yes there are many sources that do specialize in recommended prophalactic measures like Passport Health, etc...

    I think our collective over-eagerness to help has done more harm than good on this particular question...
     
  19. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    Firehuntfish,

    You make some excellent points, the reason I don't get specific on what is different in the information provided to me by my doctor versus what was posted here regarding medical advice is I'm not a physician. That is why I refer folks to their care providers. It's the same rationale as when people ask for legal advice on forums, I tell them to talk with law enforcement or a lawyer.

    As far as doing more harm than good, I defer to the author of the thread to offer his/her input rather than making that assumption for him/her. I would hope nothing here would give them sufficient cause to question going on a great experience. Thousands of people travel to SA every year, the vast majority have no medical problems on their trip. I would imagine folks who are on this forum that have had problems would have already jumped in with their comments and cautions regarding their experiences.

    My question remains unanswered: why would someone traveling all of the way to Africa NOT check with their personal healthcare provider before going?

    By the way, the comments about ticks are excellent. I hadn't thought about that or the potential for tick borne illness. I found a tick imbedded on me during my trip. When I saw the number of ticks on my nyala I had a new awareness of a need for bug spray before I venture back to SA. Subsequently a friend with extensive Africa travels shared his experience with a tick related fever that laid him up for a few days in the middle of one of his Africa adventures. Looking back, the presence of "tick" birds on a lot of the animals should also have offered a hint to my dense brain.

    One last thought, I believe in preparing for as many reasonable problems as I can before I head into something like a long trip. We haven't even discussed how to avoid or reduce the likelihood of throwing a blood clot as a result of extended sitting, cramped up on an airplane. (Not to scare anyone but that is probably one of the more lethal problems folks can encounter on their trip).
     
  20. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    A bit more on ticks. The big ones that you saw on your Nyala are not the disease vector. The pepper ticks are. They are about the size of a large grain of sand. The issue is that if left untreated it settles in the liver. 5 weeks of hospital care and a ton of IV antibiotics follow.
     

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