Immunizations - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-28-2011   #1
 
brenda's Avatar
 
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Immunizations

I am going to Costa Rica to paddle at the end of January. Which immunizations do you recommend getting (if any)? I am really healthy. In fact I have never even had a flu shot and have not had a flu in at least 15 years or more. The thought of having anything injected in me really creeps me out.

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Old 11-28-2011   #2
 
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Contact your health department about current immunizations, medications and precautions about foreign travel.
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Old 11-29-2011   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda View Post
The thought of having anything injected in me really creeps me out.
I agree with you. I googled around looking for what vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica (looks like none to me), and then to re-enter the US (looks like a lot are recommended by the CDC for going to Costa Rica, but none are required). Don't take my word for it of course, do your research.
Here are a few links I found:
===
Costa Rica. Hotels, travel agencies and tours
Search for "vaccin", and read #11.
This site implies that if you are going straight to Costa Rica from the US, you don't need any shots to enter Costa Rica. If you go to Costa Rica from many South American or African countries, you need a yellow fever shot.

Searching this page for "require" finds the following line:
Costa Rica Information, Facts and Visa Requirement
"Vaccinations:
There are no required vaccinations for travel to Costa Rica, although in some provinces there is a malaria risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which posts its recommendations at www.cdc.gov."

Health Information for Travelers to Costa Rica - Travelers' Health - CDC
Reading the CDC site about Costa Rica, I see lots of vaccinations recommended, but nothing required. If you are going to Limón Province, malaria is an issue. Read all the malaria prevention advice, which helps with other insect-borne diseases also.

If you get any shots, plan on the possibility of feeling sick for a few days. You don't want to get shots right before getting on the plane.

Check out what it says on the label of the 2011-2012 Flulaval (influenza virus vaccine, the flu shot):
"... there have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLULAVAL".
It states clearly... | Facebook

Anyway, have a great time down there!
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Old 11-29-2011   #4
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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make your own decisions and nothing against CR as I get these shots for boating in the US.
consider tetanus just in case you get cut out in the jungle
and
Hep A which can also be spread by feces etc in the water. I love boating in CR but some of the popular streams are polluted. And, while a lot of the rural CR hotels etc have toilets just like ours, many will drain directly into a local stream.

The people are great, the boating is awesome and the food is excellent.
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Old 11-29-2011   #5
 
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Thanks for all the input...I have some decisions to make! Because I work in the medical field "alternative that is" I have access to what actually goes into most injections (very scarey!) I would NEVER have a flu shot. I work in close contact with sick people every day and I am healthy, so the thought of any other injections...
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Old 11-29-2011   #6
 
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Originally Posted by brenda View Post
Because I work in the medical field "alternative that is" I have access to what actually goes into most injections (very scarey!) I would NEVER have a flu shot. I work in close contact with sick people every day and I am healthy, so the thought of any other injections...
I would recommend doing research on the specific area you are traveling to, using govt disease control websites, and thoughtfully considering recommendations.

I know folks who "didn't take the meds", "got the disease", and trust me... the treatment for the disease is way worse than the prevention of an immunization (malaria case).

Also, immunizations have some of the largest data sets on the planet, and the safety and efficiency is very well documented from a scientific perspective. I don't think "scary" is a scientific way to look at things.

Do some research on malaria, polio, hepatits, typhoid... and I think that its clear that immunizations can have a major positive impact on human kind.

Also, being healthy now has absolutely no bearing on your ability to contract tropical diseases in foreign countries.
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Old 11-29-2011   #7
 
Westminster, Colorado
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The only reason immunizations look scary is because generations of immunization campaigns have nearly wiped out a whole host of disease in the US. The bulk of improved life expectancy in this country is due to immunizations. Back when families had to have 4-5 kids because 2-3 of them would die of disease, it kept things in context a little better.
If you paddle anything other than pristine headwaters, you'll drink way worse than you'll get injected.
Go to a travel clinic, get your shots.
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Old 11-29-2011   #8
 
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I did my homework

Here is the info I came up with:
Costa Rica has been relatively free of dangerous parasite diseases (malaria, dengue, yellow fever, typhoid) for a long time.
Some rivers in Costa Rica have had Hepatitis show up in analysis, but none of the Caribbean slope white water rivers (Pacuare, Sarapiquí, Peñas Blancas, Pejebeye) have ever tested "positive" to Hepatitis. (These are the rivers I will be paddling)

Warnings for Hep A/B Injections:
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe headache (migraine).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: tingling/numbness, inability to make muscles of the legs/arms/face work (paralysis), vision changes, seizures, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes (e.g., unusual behavior, confusion, severe drowsiness, severe tiredness, stiff neck, visual sensitivity to light). Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects.
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Old 11-29-2011   #9
 
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My county health dept had an immunization clinic that was staffed by a NP that was up on all the immunizations for "everywhere" and had the immunizations on hand. I thought it was a very good and was only $20 I think. Not sure if your area has one but if you do I would highly recommend that.
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Old 11-29-2011   #10
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Originally Posted by brenda View Post
Because I work in the medical field "alternative that is" I have access to what actually goes into most injections (very scarey!) I would NEVER have a flu shot.
Okay I am going to call you out. Why would you never have a flu shot? Flu shots are very safe and much better than getting the flu. Small kids cannot get flu shots and if people keep up the Jenny McCarthy scare mongering they can die because some adults are ignorant about the benefits of herd immunity and the safety of vaccines. This is even more important for really deadly things like whooping cough.

that said I went to Costa Rica with no shots (other than a flu shot) last year. no problems - although they won't allow you to donate blood for one year after you return.
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