I know there are a lot of threads re this - we've read them all and to be hionest our heads are spinning...
We're travelling round SE Asia (Thailand, laos, cambodia and Vietnam) for 2and a half months frim May this year.. We've been to see our local nurses (supposed travel advisors) at our surgeries to get advice on what vaccinations medication we will need and we have been advised different things...
We've been advised to have Hep A and B and also possibly Rabies. I've been advised to have Japanese Encephelitis, howver my friends nurse didn't mention anything about this.. The total cost for this and malaria tablets being £460!!!
On reading the various threads everyone seems to be saying different things and we're somewhat confused especially as our medical expert advisor can't even agree on what is needed..
Any advice would be muchly appreciated.
Tetanus, and Hep A are must haves. These are threats whiles doing common things in common places.
Hep B will be nice in the case that you need medical attention. It can also be contracted by "getting down and personal" with the locals.
The rest would probably depend on your own system and itinerary.
Your doctor should be able to do most of the vaccinations you need. Though rabies is a nasty disease, I've never even heard of any traveller getting it. Just don't go near any strange animals, especially if they are behaving strange. Japanese Encephalitis? Where do you go to catch that? You can go overboard on exotic diseases that you probably wouldn't catch even if you tried. Millions of people go to these destinations every year without problems.
Anti-malaria tablets you can get from Boots.
Unless you go hiking through the jungle, you will probably be safe from most diseases. A can of fly spray is a good investment, to get rid of any lurking mosquitoes in your room. One cheap cure: If you get diarrhoea or worse; a small spoonful of salt washed down by a sugary drink will cure it.
Advice: Don't worry. Just use common-sense like always drinking only bottled water, which you had to break a seal to open.
Considering your working in pounds, I presume your in the United Kingdom. If this is the case, then I think you can get a fair few vaccinations free on the NHS. Check with your local GP - going through a travel agency or 'specialized' 'travel doctor' will indeed cost a small fortune. As people already mentioned, HEP A and Tetnus are crucial, HEP B, Typhoid are also very important. As for Rabies, it is really up to you. There are many wild dogs in Cambodia that hang around in packs and rabies is a possibility. The idea of a 'rabid' dog running around attaching everything in sight is a bit misleading, as often rabid animals can appear very placid but can suddenly become aggressive. As far as I understand, a rabies vaccinations just buys you much more time to get to the nearest decent hospital for treatment (probably Bangkok). Malaria is pretty important, there are a few options and you need to research this because there are extremely resistant strains in S-E Asia that render the older malarial medication ineffective. As always, the best cure is prevention with malaria - use insect repellent liberally and cover up in at dawn and dusk. Generally, if your sticking to Urban centers, the risks are low.
I'm travelling to the same places as you and have just had all of my jabs. Went to our local GP and got my hep A and B, typhiod, Tetnus and MMR(but i think i needed the booster anyway) and using this web site (www.travelpharm.com) to get my malarone for malaria- all in all it cost me £83 just for the malarone and the rest is free on the NHS. £460 really doesn't seem right especially as you can get most of it free.
[ Edit: Edited on 18-Mar-2009, at 03:35 by sambo123 ]
Wow, that is a lot! I paid £10 for each visit to the travel clinic at my regular GP in London and I had all these jabs (except Jap En & rabies) in 3 sessions. I got malaria medication from Travelpharm website (they need you to supply prescription from GP before you order, but you can usually get GP to send it to you).
As for the rabies jab - I had the unfortunate experience of getting scratched by a stray dog in Thailand and had to have 5 vaccines or so over 28 days. If I would have had the preventor jabs, I would only then have had to have 3 - it is important to know that you still need to get more jabs, even if you have had a prevention course (but you just don't need as many). This is based on advice I have been given, but you need to speak a specialist first hand about it before you go.
My advice would be to call your local GP, ask them about travel clinic charges there and if they also seem expensive, see if your local hospital has a clinic. Privately, it will always be a lot more. From the prices you are quoting, it sounds like you have approached private clinics (or, it's just very expensive up north!!). Good luck
I would suggest you buy Doxycyline in a Boots Pharmacy in Thailand. Its alot cheaper than buying it in the UK. Each practice varies but the price you quoted for the jabs is a joke. The other funky jabs you mentioned you will not even need. I recomend Serious Jungle as a great mozzie repelant, its dam strong.
Have a good one!
I'm just finishing my vaccination courses. All done on NHS except for Rabies and Jap Encepalitis. I think it sometimes varies with the NHS as to what area does what on NHS but I would make sure you are uptodate with all your regulars.
I was told that the time when I am going (april to august) is the peak time for jap encep so I would have that as it is very serious. With rabies I got it done because i work with animals and may volunteer a bit but as its so deadly i think you cant be too careful!!!
Be really careful if you choose to buy malaria medication in SE Asia - there are a lot of fakes circulating which can make you really ill and not offer you any anti-malarial protection (and it DOES happen - I know somebody who got incredibly sick after taking some pills in Thailand he was told were doxy when in fact they were not). You might find this website useful http://www.www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk for more jab advice. If you are recommended a jab I would seriously consider having it - get expert advice.
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Mar-2009, at 08:39 by claireh ]
I think they have probably told you the very maximum protection you need, and is not neccesarily 100% right. I am also going to south-east asia in June and have had injections.
You definately need Hep A & Tetanus without fail, this was provided Free of Charge by my doctor so assume you will get this free too.
Japanese....is only required if you plan on going to either Paddy Fields. Which most people will not be.
I was offered the Rabies injection, although the nurse said if you are biten, you HAVE to seek medical advice immediately anyway, and the injection therefore has no impact under these circumstances.
Finally, Malaria - the one i am confused on. There seems to be great confusion over whether you need it or not, with my nurse saying 100% yes, but the chemist saying i don't. Depending on your activities whilst away. Malaria is completely iradicated in most tourist areas like Bangkok, Phuket etc. You therefore have the choice on whether you take them, or possibly taken them for just a period of your trip e.g, just before and during a certain area.
Plenty of mosquito spray will be fine i was told.....