Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vaccines, Medications, out of country medical - check!

A significant step in our trip preparation is medical - and it's done now! We went to the Downtown Travel Clinic today for the consult with the travel doc - he's an interesting character who is both an athlete and a traveler; always interesting to talk to.

Reading the literature on all the nasty things one can get  from different kinds of mosquitoes, vampire bats and sand flees as well as ingesting contaminated water/food makes it easy to say YES to vaccines.

Today, we got covered re: vaccines.  We updated Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations and added Yellow Fever. While we plan to be in the Andes, ie rather high, much of the time, we will be so close to the jungle that Jan's been promoting dropping down and spending a few days in the Peruvian or Bolivian jungle. Hence the mandatory Yellow Fever vaccination (good for 10 years)  as well as Malaria prevention pills. Those we'll take when we need them. We also got a vaccine that we'll take orally 2 weeks before we leave to protect from ecoli-related traveller's diarrhea - the vaccine lasts for 3 months (just the right amount).

We got prescriptions for a bunch of other fine medications as well as: something to help with altitude sickness, even though I think well-planned acclimatization is the most important aspect here. We also will take 3 different antibiotics: one for intestinal infection, one for breathing-related/bronchial infection and finally one for skin infections which can happen more readily in tropical climates like we'll encounter in Peru and Bolivia.

These plus a few painkillers and the normal first aid kit stuff means we'll be traveling with a respectable assortment of medical supplies to get us out of a jam while traveling  in remote areas.

We also just affirmed that the out-of-country medical coverage we already have takes care of most, if not all  (TBC), of our desires for medical assistance if we need it. We'll confirm whether strictly rescue would be covered, as that wasn't clear.

Jan and I both have been educated in Wilderness First Aid, which has affirmed our existing good appreciation for avoiding trouble, being safe, planning well and having all the adventures worth having. And, ironically maybe, we've had plenty of opportunity to practice certain first aid skills due to our years of inline speed skating. I sure know how to handle road rash!

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