2012-12-09

Working and thinking about travel vaccinations


During my day I was too lazy (and too busy because of the Telakka Christmas Bazaar tomorrow at 12-20  ^ picture up there, my stuff - the reflectors on the down left corner.) to cook.

My whole kitchen is a mess, all my materials all over the place, so, I went to get a pizza. I started reading  the local newspaper Aamulehti there and my eye caught an article about vaccinations, mostly about the normal flu prevention but also travel issues. Especially the facts that they stated there startled me. 

Our trip to Philippines was a "big one" when it came to vaccinations. I also had to take some additions, that we need to take in Finland for our normal program. What I found out, was that on the year I was born, the local program in my town did not vaccinate against MPR (measles, parotitis, rubella). This all took calls to the town where I was born and some digging into the old files and then sending them to me. That should anyway be now in control. But, I had been traveling a lot in areas where the noted epidemics happen, and could have caught something and did not even know that my vaccination cover was not ok...thanks to Finnish health system. No need to vaccinate these guys anymore, the illness is gone from Finland! 

The others I got was Typhoid fever, Hepatitis B (only one shot now, and now I am ok for the rest of my life). Malaria then...I decided not to get the pills since the side effects have been quite hard, and if I get it, normally the symptoms are different if you take the pills..the doctor agreed with me on this. There was different info on the Finnish vaccination pages (Rokote.fi  and Matkailijan terveysopas ) and the WHO  pages as well as the malaria maps on CDC.

The local newspaper article was quite clear on one thing,  Japanese encephalitis (the whole program of 2 first shots costs 250€) was not needed. I guess my doctor would not agree on this one. There has been one single case in Finland, and the person got the illness in Singapore. Also typhoid fever and cholera vaccinations were to be avoided because of the side effects on a short vacation lasting only a few weeks. 

Anyway, what I recommend now is this http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/   (travel section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 
and there you´ll find all the epidemics that we should know about while getting abroad. 

How has your travel health been? 

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