Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Immunizations

Last week I saw my doctor to discuss my travel plans, and what I need in the way of immunizations before I leave. I always try to do this about two months before leaving to give time for the shots to take full effect. As it turns out, my GP has more than a passing interest in travel medicine and is up-to-date on all this stuff. Before seeing him, I browsed the Public Health Agency of Canada's Travel Medicine website which told me the basics I needed to know. He said the countries I propose to travel in (Libya, Italy, Greece) are all clean countries, so all I really needed are basic booster shots. For my destinations, this includes the following:
  1. Hepatitis A - This is a nasty virus which attacks the liver and can do serious harm. I had a series of Havrix shots 10 years ago, which apparently is good for life, so I'm OK on this one.
  2. Diptheria & Tetanus - Whether you travel or not, it is a good idea to have a booster for these two every 10 years. My GP gave me the shot while I was in his office.
  3. Typhoid - This is a foodborne illness caused by Salmonella bacteria (food poisoning). There is a new oral vaccine available for Typhoid, which I picked up at my pharmacy.
  4. Cholera - There is a new oral cholera and e-coli (ETEC) travellers' diarrhea vaccine for Canadian travellers, which I picked up at my pharmacy.

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