travel clinic

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so we went to the travel clinic this afternoon, as we were pretty sure we would need anti-malaria medication for the trip and our GP said she didn’t normally prescribe it because it’s best to be prescribed by someone who specializes in knowing what is needed for each country.

it was a good appointment, we were able to book as  a couple, and they were open late.  i am all for offices that are open outside of regular business hours because we are already having to take so much time off work for various appointments and for the trips themselves.  the nurse practitioner who interviewed us about our trip and also the nurse who administered the shots were very knowledgeable.  here is a list of things we talked about and vaccinations we received today:

  • hepatitis A and B – we had Twinrix in 2011, so were all good
  • tetanus – hubby was up to date here, not me though – covered by provincial medical plan
  • typhoid shot for each of us
  • hubby got Dukoral to take before the trip, which covers traveler’s diarrhea (e-coli and cholera); due to some pre-exisiting intestinal issues, she did not recommend this for me
  • anti-malaria pills – there were two options here – one was about $1/day each, but you take it for the whole trip and then a month afterwards and it has lots of common side effects like nausea, and the second was $5/day, but you only take it for the trip and then a week, and has no side effects – we opted for the ones with no side effects, as we don’t want to be nauseated on the trip if necessary – so this will be the most costly thing at around $150 each
  • a set of antibiotics each, just to carry in case (not sure how much this will cost, as we haven’t had the prescriptions filled)
  • we both got a booster of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, as apparently folks born after a certain year (some year in the 50s i think) are recommended to get a booster dose because the “new” vaccine isn’t as effective as the old from before that time) – covered by provincial medical plan
  • all of these things are good for varying amounts of time, between a few months to life, so i highly recommend seeing a travel clinic if you have any doubts as to whether you are up to date
  • we were provided with a list of things we should think about taking with us, that may or may not be readily available there; from tylenol to anti-nausea pills to epi-pens for allergies, bandaids, etc.
  • a whack of information about various diseases that are found in India, including info about mosquitoes.  it is recommended that we use heavy DEET mosquito repellent while we are there, as there are Dengue fever mosquitoes during the day, and Malaria mosquitoes at night.  unfortunately, there is no vaccine or cure for Dengue fever, so that’s what the repellent is for, better safe than sorry.
  • because we are only going to be in the urban areas, there were things we likely didn’t need, but i can’t fill you in on those.  if you are planning on rural travel, it would definitely be best to talk to a travel clinic nurse.

here is the clinic we went to and the hours and price list.  there are likely all kinds of travel clinics in every city, and i would highly recommend going to one.  this is the first time we have done so, even though we have done a fair bit of travelling, and it was very informative.  we feel much safer now :p

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