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Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

Hello,

My question is for people who have went on a safari to Tanzania coming from the US. I was wondering what vaccines you would recommend (or what you took yourself before your trip).

My flight route is as follows:

Washington D.C. to Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro

I plan to get all the routine stuff (Tetatnus, Hep A, Hep B, etc...) but I had a question about the other vaccinations recommended by the CDC.

1) Typhoid? (I plan to stay in a lodge, not camping, therefore I am fairly confident my food and water will be fine)

2) Yellow Fever? (I've read Tanzania does not require this but sometimes security is fussy about it so it's better to get it just to be safe, especially since I am initially landing in Addis Ababa)

3) Malaria? (I talked to my doctor about this and she recommended only getting if it really is a big concern in Tanzania. Did any of you take the pills? Did you have any major side effects?)

4) And anything else I may be missing.

Thanks!

Divya

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

I would normally recommend you to talk to your Doctor but with one who plainly does not grasp the fundamentals of Malaria prophlactics you are somewhat limited in that resource.

Malairia KILLS. It is responsible for more deaths in Africa than any other disease. It is easily prevented by taking these pills. So take them!

nyc
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2. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

Every adult whether traveling Stateside or some exotic destination should be current with boosters for Tetanus (DPT), HepA, (maybe HepB), and Polio Booster. The first three you can contract at home and good for 10/yrs each; the fourth is good for life. I sure have these.

Some go for the Typhoid which I believe is 4/tabs (though I haven't),

YF is required for entry via Addis though likely agents might not ask to show it. , but as it's good for 10/yrs (or even longer as 2016), you're set for life.

Malaria meds are a must. and having used both Lariam (rarely prescribed these days) or Malarone... no side effects.

If anyone mentions Rabies... run fast out the door as it's not required as it only provides 24/hrs to get to a facility to start treatment, besides I'd like to assume you won't be petting those cute lion cubs or being scratched by some other critter (unlikely).

Try to get as many of these from your personal doc (lower costs if your insurance doesn't cover); script for Malaria meds also from your doc as would be those Typhoid tabs.

If you walk into a Travel Clinic, their eyes will open wide and be counting ca-ching, ca-ching. Though they might be only place for the YF whch doesn't come cheap, sadly. Or check your area's Public Health Center.

Shop around where you can for the malaria meds if insurance doesn't cover at least some.

Good luck!

Milwaukee
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3. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

I got typhoid and hep a, did not need hep b and tetanus as had within enough time that still was ok. I did the pill for typhoid since it lasted more years than shot. I did not get yellow fever. Yes malaria I got pills. I got doxy but your doctor would let you know what is best for you personally. I was already taking doxy for my complexion from dermatologist anyway. I just have to take with food, but honestly for me that applies almost for all medicine I have a sensitive stomach. Everyone reacts differently.

Do you have a travel clinic nearby? I would seek their advice. I personally would not go to Tanzania without taking malaria meds. To me not worth the risk, malaria is serious.

Milwaukee
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4. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

Yes if you can get from your doctor better than clinic if your ins covers your doctor. But if your doctor doesn't know if you need malaria med I would seek another doctor. My doctor only had hep A and felt I should seek clinic advice. For me, the travel clinic I went to was in my network and maybe I got lucky as they did not push anything I did not need. They wrote me prescription for typhoid pills and that was it. My ins covered the visit but not pills as that is a vaccination not under my plan. Pills were $71 at Walgreens for 4 pills.

South Riding VA
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5. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

I wanted to give my experience re: YF vaccine as I traveled the same route though it doesn't really matter; the point being that I had the layover in Addis. When I landed at JRO I was asked for the YF certificate and responded that I was coming from the US. He waved me on. That may not happen for everyone, I know. Just giving my experience. (My husband, who flew separately, wasn't asked for the certificate at all ).

chris

Edited: 06 August 2014, 00:22
Washington DC...
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6. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

I think you're on the right track making sure you're up-to-date on the routine ones and looking at Hep A/B. Regarding typhoid, I've figured much as you did and never got vaccinated; not suggesting you do as I did, just saying...

Malaria prophylaxis is a must. I suggest discussing doxycycline or Malarone with a knowledgeable health provider. The Yellow Fever jab is strictly speaking not required if transiting airside in Addis for <12 hrs, but you may in fact be asked for your cert upon arriving in TZ. Some take a chance and go without the jab while others figure it's not worth the heartburn of worrying about the matter and get it. Your call.

One suggestion: many will get an Rx for a few days worth of Cipro in case of a serious case of traveler's diarrhea. Never needed it (knocking wood), but doesn't hurt to carry it.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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7. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

1 - Don't ever assume that your food and water will be safe, no matter where you are staying, while in Tanzania. I've had people get deathly ill (ruining their trip) from food eaten at what looks like a great lodge or hotel there. Never drink any water unless it is bottled water which has the seal broken by yourself (some will refill bottles), including brushing your teeth - never never put tap water in your mouth. Rule for eating there, peel it, cook it, or forget it. Never eat uncooked foods. Of course you could and not have anything happen; but....

2 - YF, Tanzania does require yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from an infected area (this could be Kenya, or perhaps the health officer will think Addis is an infected are). The health officer at passport control when you enter Tz will be the determining factor here. My advice would be to get it rather than taking the chance that they will make you take it there, and who knows what the hygiene is at the airport. The big misconception on YF vaccination is that you are protecting yourself, the Tz government requires this to protect their people, not you.

3 - Malaria kills many people there and it is a preventable disease. Do a search on this forum and you will find posts of people who didn't and almost died before they could get to the proper hospitals for treatment, if it is cerebral type of malaria. There are various malaria prophylaxis medications that you can take, choose one. Continue taking it for the full prescribed regime regardless of side effects if you are one of the very few who get a side effect.

You obviously have a physician who isn't aware of travel in a sub tropical location. Anyone who tells patients they might not want to do this when they know they are traveling to Africa is dangerous. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is spending tons of money trying to eradicate this deadly disease from tropical areas, which is the biggest killer of people on the continent of Africa than any other disease. Get bitten by the wrong mosquito (sans prophylaxis medication) and you will be spending a lot of time visiting physicians treating you for malaria for sometimes a long time.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

Despite GPs being cheaper for meds (in the US it seems) a Travel Doctor is going to be better versed to advise. My jaw dropped with the last comment - re Malaria. I concur with Karl - they don't know what they are talking about. Some trips I stick with my GP, others, I go to the experts.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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9. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

Yeah, my regular doctor is obviously a little ignorant. :-)

I've made an appointment for the travel clinic on my Monday. I'm sure they will be more well-informed. I was just curious of others experiences.

After I come back from that visit I'll make another post to this thread to let everyone know what I ended up taking/doing.

Thanks!

Divya

nyc
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10. Re: Tanzania Vaccinations coming from US

While many choose doxy as their malaria med, know unlike the others you have to take this for 28/days upon returnng home. You cannot lay down once taken as it can pop up and you don't want that. And though doxy had been the cheapest, of late there seems to be a shortage in the US and the price has gone sky-hi. So check your options and prices various outlets.