Vaccinations? Health tips
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Jul 20, 2012 7:16 AM Last Post By: steve486435
Jul 9, 2012 8:01 AM
Vaccinations? Health tipsSo I didn't know that I would be traveling to Guatemala till almost a month ago. I'm going to my health provider today to get my first shot of hepatitis a and I'm leaving in two weeks. This was the earliest appointment I could get. I will also receive whatever else I need. Is there any health advice people can give me in regards to this? I was wondering if taking showers, swimming, etc are ok. I know hep a is transmitted through person to person contact or through contaminated food or water. Any other health advice?
Jul 9, 2012 1:22 PM
1I would get the Hep A and the Hep B, though thats 2 more shots over time.
I would also have a Tetanus booster if you have not had one 10 years.
Other than that, I dont know what you mean by showers and swimming in lakes? Of course you can shower all you want, and swimming lakes/rivers/oceans depends where you are, as far as if it polluted with run off from sewage, farm animals, pesticides, agri chemicals or whatever else lurks out there. I love waterfalls and canoeing and kayaking, and rafting, and never had a issue swimming in any areas or bodies of water. Just keep the water out of your mouth, and be careful if you have an open wound/sore.
Jul 9, 2012 3:25 PM
Jul 9, 2012 6:33 PM
Jul 9, 2012 6:40 PM
4I find your fears dismaying.
I have been many times to Guatemala and have never even thought of illness the way you do and have never gotten sick. I seldom visit doctors anyway. I just watch what I eat (trying for places that look clean and there are many ) and drinking clean water. I bring a couple of Imodiom just in case. That is about it for medical precautions. Oh, I do bring insect spray for the lowlands.
I have been to places where the level of fear is even higher, such as post earthquake Haiti and not bothered with the vaccinations you mentioned. I never became ill.
Do yourself a favor. Don't worry so much or don't go. Guatemala is a great place and not as unhealthy as fear mongers would have people think. I have noticed that the darker the population, the greater the fear of dirt and disease gets. It gets all out of reason.
Jul 9, 2012 7:32 PM
Jul 9, 2012 7:37 PM
Jul 9, 2012 7:45 PM
Jul 10, 2012 6:02 AM
8Yes, I understand there are different points of view.
I just think that we are lucky enough to be able to afford to buy clean water, something some Guatemalans in some areas can not get because they don't have the money. I don't worry about my own health so much. And, it turns out, I am fine. Travel can be a jar to the system, but with a bit of luck, clean water and food and rest you can be OK.
Personally, I am not an advocate of toxic injections although I am sure the doctors make loads of money from them, as well as from the illnesses people get. Mae West (who lived to a ripe old age) once said "They don't make money off of health, they need you to get sick". I know that is a negative opinion that others may not agree with but I can tell you I am in good health without medications . My cousin expressed shock that I don't go for tests, shots or check ups saying "How will you know if something is wrong?' (something always is with him. And they always find something, too!). Guess I will know when I drop but till then I will be enjoying life without much disease causing worry.
Enjoy your trip! Guatemala is lovely!
Jul 10, 2012 8:24 AM
9You are doing the right thing getting vaccinations. All the bravado of those who have never been sick is really just a misunderstanding of statistics and luck. There are higher rates of disease in developing countries. Getting vaccinations before traveling is a good idea. Protecting yourself against Hepititis A&B, tetanus, rabies, MMR, and polio through vaccination is wise. Even without vaccination, you are unlikely to be infected, but your odds are significantly higher than in your home country, which is why the recommend vaccination.
Drinking clean water, using insect repellant, and being sensible while traveling are all good steps to take to be safe and healthy. As others may point out, you are much more likely to hurt yourself from foolish acts or in a traffic accident than to pick up one of these bugs. There is no vaccination that has as much benefit as staying sensible while traveling.
That all said, never be afraid to go. Lack of life experiences is the worst disease - travel is the cure.
Jul 10, 2012 8:31 AM
Jul 10, 2012 8:46 AM
11Many street dogs running around. There is a small likelihood of getting rabbies (less than 5 people infected annually), but a decent chance of getting bitten if you get out of a major city. If you get bitten and don't know the dog's status, then you should probably get Post Exposure Prophylactic Treatment which is 5 shots deep into the arm over a 30 day period and is not fun. So the recommendation is to get the vaccination.
Jul 10, 2012 3:36 PM
12I've lived in Guatemala for years. When I first came here I was living near Los Angeles. I heard that the doctor in charge of the student health center at Cal State Fullerton had been a missionary at one time in Guatemala. I went and looked him up and asked his advice thinking that here is one guy that would really know. He told me that things in Guatemala weren't much different than anywhere else and just to take normal precautions. That's what I did. I did get amoebas once but that came from eating food sold in a street vendor's stand. I also drink bottled water but even then you can't be sure; once we found little thingies swimming around in one of our water bottles.
I never could understand people who were such sanitary phobics but who would brush their teeth with tap water. That seems to me like a DUH! situation.
Hey, don't worry about rabies or hepatitis or malaria, just don't eat the street food and don't brush your teeth using tap water to rinse out your mouth.
Jul 10, 2012 6:26 PM
13"'I've lived in Guatemala for years....Hey, don't worry about rabies or hepatitis or malaria" (just eat at clean places, etc) THANK YOU panerian
Since AustinBen tells people to get a rabies vaccination before visiting Guatemala although he says there are "less than five people infected " a year: I googled the number of rabies cases in his hometown. It seems Austin and central Texas had 271 rabies cases ! Wow, those Guate dogs must border jump! They have never bitten me in Guate, I must not be their type. I also read about the horrible side effects from the vaccine. It is not something I would want.
Jul 11, 2012 6:15 AM
14I originally came from New Mexico which has the highest incidence in the world of rabies (as well as Bubonic plague) and even there it is quite unheard of for a human to get a rabies immunization.
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