Vaccinations for Vietnam/Cambodia?


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#1
Milton, Ontario, Canada
57 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
For those who have been on a Mekong cruise in Vietnam and Cambodia, were there any vaccinations recommended or advised in advance of your trip?
Any other health recommendations?
#2
Toronto, Canada
1,337 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I went to a travel medical clinic for advice. I already had hepatitis A and B vaccination but they suggested a new typhoid shot. They also suggested Japanese Encephalitis vaccine but I read a bit and decided it was unnecessary. I took Malarone (an anti-malarial) but it was probably unnecessary. I barely saw a mosquito.


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AmaDara, Vietnam and Cambodia, 2017
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#3
Texas
4,563 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Just an FYI for those going to Southeast Asia (probably not the big cities, but the more rural areas), I came down with scabies about 5 weeks after being on the Mekong and in Cambodia. Internet reading shows that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the awful itching and rash to start after exposure. Most doctors in the US are not all that familiar with scabies unless they have worked with street people, etc. So, for those who don't want to look up scabies, it's a microscopic mite that causes a rash and extreme itching.
#4
Boston MA
7,610 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by CanEcosse
For those who have been on a Mekong cruise in Vietnam and Cambodia, were there any vaccinations recommended or advised in advance of your trip?
Any other health recommendations?
The CDC website has inoculation/drug recommendations for every country. Start there and then consult your physician or travel clinic.

I also suggest that since you are traveling into a completely unfamiliar germ pool that you carry an antibiotic with you as well as a good supply of an anti-diarrheal and any other over-the-counter drugs that you normally stock at home (pain meds, sinus meds, etc. because there just isn't time to go looking for these things while you are traveling).
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#5
North Carolina
6,070 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Texas Tillie
Just an FYI for those going to Southeast Asia (probably not the big cities, but the more rural areas), I came down with scabies about 5 weeks after being on the Mekong and in Cambodia. Internet reading shows that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the awful itching and rash to start after exposure. Most doctors in the US are not all that familiar with scabies unless they have worked with street people, etc. So, for those who don't want to look up scabies, it's a microscopic mite that causes a rash and extreme itching.
Really? When I was growing up (in suburban CT in the early 80s) kids got scabies at camp all the time. I had them when I was 8.....Lice was not a problem, but apparently scabies were
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#6
Texas
4,563 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Hoyaheel
Really? When I was growing up (in suburban CT in the early 80s) kids got scabies at camp all the time. I had them when I was 8.....Lice was not a problem, but apparently scabies were
Maybe it's a geographic thing. You get Lyme disease up there, we don't down here. Ever seen a Texas cockroach? Yankees generally faint the first time they see one!!
#7
7,886 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Texas Tillie
Ever seen a Texas cockroach? Yankees generally faint the first time they see one!!
Here in SC, the palmetto bug (read: big cockroach) is the unofficial state bird, LOL
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#8
North Carolina
6,070 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Texas Tillie
Maybe it's a geographic thing. You get Lyme disease up there, we don't down here. Ever seen a Texas cockroach? Yankees generally faint the first time they see one!!
Well, I've lived in NC for 20 years now and we have Lyme disease and cockroaches (not like SC, or at least, not where I am in NC...) I just wanted to point out that scabies isn't necessarily just a disease of "street people" and that my pediatrician was quite familiar with it....
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#9
Texas
4,563 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Hoyaheel
Well, I've lived in NC for 20 years now and we have Lyme disease and cockroaches (not like SC, or at least, not where I am in NC...) I just wanted to point out that scabies isn't necessarily just a disease of "street people" and that my pediatrician was quite familiar with it....
Still say that it must be a geographic thing as I have never heard of one parent here ever say their child had scabies. Now, head lice, yes. I was just trying to help those wondering about diseases in Southeast Asia know that there was another one to consider. Sorry if my comment offended you. It was my physician who said he hadn't seen scabies since he was a resident at the county hospital.
#11
Texas
4,563 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by acruisefan
Yikes!! Do you have any idea where/how you might have contracted the scabies? And I don't think there is a vaccine for that!
No, no vaccine for scabies. Just wanted to let people know that there are other things to consider. I know I have never heard of anyone who has contracted scabies in the USA (although I was told it was common by one poster) but not common in my neighborhood. My research said that the mites can live up to 3 days not on a human host, so who knows where the little boogers jumped on me!
#12
Manhattan Beach, Ca
112 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Also doing the Cambodia Vietnam river cruise with Uniworld in December. Trying to decide if I will get the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine. It appears it is more of an issue during the rainy months. Bringing 98% Deet with me for a repellent. Do most people on the land/cruise get the vaccine? .
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#13
Toronto, Canada
1,337 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by luv2travel90266
Also doing the Cambodia Vietnam river cruise with Uniworld in December. Trying to decide if I will get the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine. It appears it is more of an issue during the rainy months. Bringing 98% Deet with me for a repellent. Do most people on the land/cruise get the vaccine? .


I chose not to on my AMA cruise last November. It was quite expensive and seemed more for outdoor adventure types than people on short walking tours.


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AmaDara, Vietnam and Cambodia, 2017
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#14
Columbus, Ohio
19,709 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Appreciate this great question to consider and the various follow-ups. For us, we did not need to get any added shots when doing the Mekong, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., earlier this year. BUT, we had done the Amazon River in 2015 and South Africa/Botswana in 2016. Talk to the medical experts who know these worldwide requirements and they will go through the detailed itinerary to verify what is needed. Or, not!

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.! Just completed a Jan. 21-Feb. 20, 2018, first adventure through Southeast Asia with stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before traveling all over Vietnam and Cambodia. This includes seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 31,175 views. Lots of fun, interesting pictures!! See more at:
www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474
#15
2,042 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
We didn't get any additional vaccines for Vietnam/Cambodia, but we did already have some still active from previous trips such as the Amazon, and my wife as a childcare worker had many others routinely anyway. Personally I am not a fan of frequent vaccination against anything and everything without a strong identified risk, which is rare on these organised trips, or personal susceptibility which thankfully is absent for me.


Everyone should really take professional advice, what works for me is not necessarily good for you
#16
Ohio
110 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Just back from the Mekong cruise... We did the vaccines for hep A and typhoid. We did go to the doctors and got pills for malaria and travelers diarrhea. I usually get ate by mosquitoes but only got bit twice. I would probably not do the pills again and only get the vaccines. We had two nurses on our cruise and they didn't get anything for the trip if that tells you anything. We never traveled or ate anything suspicious so i think river cruising is low risk.
#17
Philadelphia
127 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
We did Vietnam/Cambodia on AMA and did not get any vaccinations nor take any malaria pills. In fact, my doctor said that more people tend to get sick from taking the pills than from not taking them. We did go to Vietnam during what they considered the "rainy period" and it only rained one day for about 20 minutes and that was it. We went to some of the "tourist sites" that were in areas that had lots of vegetation (to show us where land mines were buried) and we just put on a heavy duty insect repellent and we never had a problem with mosquitos. I guess, you have to make the final decision with your doctor. You will love Vietnam/Cambodia, so interesting!!! It still is one of our favorite cruises. Also, for Texas Tillie, one of my best friends did get Lyme disease while living in Dallas and it took almost a year for it to finally be diagnosed because doctors, too, thought, "We don't have Lyme disease in Texas." Well, apparently you do and as a result it took my friend quite a long time to feel halfway normal as she basically couldn't move from the sofa or her bed for many weeks, even after being put on medication for Lyme.
#18
Westport, CT
31 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
We also traveled on AMA to Vietnam/Cambodia. Did the vaccine for hep A, but no malaria pills. We used Deet insect repellant wipes a couple of days in some of the smaller towns on the river which worked great, and diarrhea pills one or two days.

A cold starting spreading through the boat and there was a lot of coughing and sneezing going around. What I wished we had brought and what we could not find locally in Asia, was a good antihistamine like Benadryl for runny noses, sneezing and watery eyes or an effective cough medicine. They were just not available over the counter in Vietnam, Thailand or even Hong Kong. Wont travel again without an allergy medication.