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alc13

travel vaccines?

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CDC (US) recommends typhoid and Hep A vaccines, but they are not typically covered by health insurance.  I'm curious to know if those of you who explored on your own got vaccinated, or have any other perspective to offer.  I know from past experience that CDC can be conservative.

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We went on a cruise to Cuba stopping in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago.  There were 684 passengers on the ship, and over 10 days we spoke to quite a few of them.  No one mentioned anything about any vaccinations.

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Generally the CDC recommendations are for people spending more than a few hours in country. 

 

You might want to check with your primary care or other physician familiar with your medical history. There may be risk factors that affect the desirability of either vaccination.

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We contacted our doctor and she recommended that we both get the Hep A vaccine. She also realized I needed the MMR vaccine, and my husband needed TDAP. She said we could get the typhoid vaccine if we wanted, but it would need to be ordered and then we'd have to return every other day for a series of four shots. Our schedule before we leave won't allow for that, so we skipped it. 

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We spent four days in Cuba. Did not think about or hear a single word about vaccines. Not needed IMO.  Typhoid especially.  

 

 

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Hep A is very, very common all over the world. All you have to do is eat once in a restaurant where someone who has the disease is involved in your food preparation and hasn't washed their hands. According to the CDC, the yearly odds of being infected with hepatitis A in the United States are one in 83,330. There are other ways to get it, including ways one would probably never expect: https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2016/hav-strawberries.htm

Edited by Langoustine

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You do not need any vaccines before going to Cuba. You have as much a chance  getting Hep A there as in Florida, and typhoid? Please. Who hears of anyone getting that?

 

From the CDC: About 300 people get typhoid fever in the United States each year, and most of these people have recently traveled. 

 

There are 325 million people in the USA.

Do the odds. You have a better chance of dying in a car crash on the way to the ship than getting typhoid.

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Well, I disagree with your statistical interpretation.  Obviously travel increases the risk, based on the figures you quoted.  And travel to a region where typhoid exists (eg Cuba) increases the risk further.  The more relevant question is by how much.

 

We traveled to Asia a few years ago and got the malaria vaccine or prophylactic, I forget which.  A German passenger scoffed at that, saying that malaria was easily treated.  The European health authority apparently is more relaxed than our CDC about malaria risk.

 

However, we're fine on Hep A - our vaccinations are current.  As for typhoid, we'll forego another vaccination and just be sensible on the few occasions when we eat ashore.

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I always get whatever my local travel clinic recommends but usually I do 2-3 week land trips. Not sure what they would say for a stop over of a few of hours. They are the authority on this subject, they follow CDC recommendations, it is best to check with them.

 

BTW, there are 22 million cases of typhoid reported each year around the world and 200,000 deaths.

Edited by judytata11

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 "22 million cases of typhoid reported each year around the world and 200,000 deaths"

 

Interesting numbers.  The risk is real, outside of developed areas.

 

They (CDC) go on to say the vaccine is only 50-80% effective, and offer these guidelines:

 

 

Eat safe foods:

Eat
  • Food that is cooked and served hot
  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
  • Pasteurized dairy products
Don't Eat
  • Food served at room temperature
  • Food from street vendors
  • Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
  • Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish
  • Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
  • Peelings from fruit or vegetables
  • Condiments (such as salsa) made with fresh ingredients
  • Salads
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • ”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)

Drink safe beverages:

Drink
  • Bottled water that is sealed (carbonated is safer)
  • Water that has been disinfected (boiled, filtered, treated)
  • Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
  • Bottled and sealed carbonated and sports drinks
  • Hot coffee or tea
  • Pasteurized milk
Don't Drink
  • Tap or well water
  • Ice made with tap or well water
  • Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
  • Flavored ice and popsicles
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Fountain drinks
Edited by alc13

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