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Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

Fort Lauderdale...
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Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

How important are yellow fever vaccines, malaria drugs and typhoid precautions before visiting Cusco and hiking to Macchu Picchu?

Any reports of contracting these diseases?

Tucson, Arizona
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1. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

Malaria and yellow fever are not a risk; you're too high up. I always recommend Hep A whether you travel or not, and a tetanus booster every ten years is a must as well. Typhoid is caused by the same conditions as Hep A, although, truth be told, I've been traveling in third world countries for three decades and only just got around to getting the typhoid vax last year.

california
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2. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

If you are not going to the jungle or to the northwest coast you don't need malaria or yellow fever.

…cdc.gov/travel/…seldyfm533

But bring your insect repellent for Machu Picchu, there are little nearly invisible insects that can attack the exposed skin. Or just wear long pants, socks and shirts. They don't carry disease but some people have a bad reaction to their bites.

Typhoid, "Recommended for most travelers, especially those who are staying with friends or relatives; visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water; or prone to "adventurous eating" per the CDC. However the vaccine is in short supply in the US, so you may instead be prescribed the oral pills. They need to be started 3 weeks before you leave. It is a special order item for many pharmacies here, so you will want to have the prescription in hand a month ahead.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

Had a typhoid shot this spring and getting it was no issue. Same thing two years ago. Neither doctor mentioned any supply issues.

MP is in the mountains so no need for malaria or yellow fever. Typhoid is recommended almost everywhere because its caused by unsanitary conditions. Probably not likely you would get it, but I had a friend who did get typhoid in India and it was a mess so I always keep mine up to date as I'm out of the country a couple times a year. You need a booster every 2 years.

Edited: 07 September 2013, 21:36
california
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4. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

I just got my Typhoid shot yesterday, and had to get special permission from my provider /insurer to get that instead of the pills. I asked why not the shot and they said it was in short supply, saved for people with cancer, HIV, or otherwise immuno-compromised.

Pills give you longer immunity, by the way. So next time you might want to go that route (5 years).

I actually didn't bother for the first trip to Peru and Chile where I was not going to the Amazon or to more rural areas. But you hear reports of poor hygiene around Aguas Calientes so I might get it just to be safe.

BTW, you didn't ask, but I would also get a flu shot. Might be the most important one of all. They actually are out now although not advertised.

Edited: 07 September 2013, 21:55
california
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5. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

theguardian.com/travel/2012/dec/25/typhoid-v…

Sanofi recall last year, plus Glaxo decided not to produce any more until 2014.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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6. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

We are going to Peru in Oct and our Dr recommended getting our Routine vaccines (since it has been over 10 years), and Hepatitis shots (this involves 3 shots total: got mine in Aug, Sept and the 3rd will be in Feb). She also ordered the pill for Typhoid, which will start taking in late Sept. Didn't need Yellow fever since we're not going to the jungle. Rather be safe then sorry.

Mi Wuk Village...
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7. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

Malaria and yellow fever aren't needed unless you go to the jungle. Everyone should have tetanus if you go out of your house.. Hep A and Hep B should have. Typhoid..I''ve been many times and never had it.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

Interesting. I did not even know there was a pill. In all the times I've been into a travel clinic, and I've used more than one, no one has ever mentioned it. And this spring when I needed a typhoid booster, the doctor never mentioned there was a shortage and did an injection.

To all who are saying they've never taken it, it's something you can catch in lots of places. It's caused by inadequate sanitation. I know it's rare, but the vaccine, and probably the pill, are very easy and typhoid is definitely something you do not want.

Fort Lauderdale...
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9. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

Thank- you very much, was thinking along the same lines and your validation is greatly appreciated.

california
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10. Re: Immunizations prior to Macchu Picchu

I have Kaiser, they are somewhat of the vaccine center for our area (they have access to yellow fever jab for example, which I actually didn't have to pay for. So they follow protocols for who gets what when. A regular doctor may just give what's most convenient/what they've always done. BTW both options are only about 70% effective so you still should be careful about food & water as much as possible.

As I mentioned try to get the flu vaccine if you are going soon, since it is still flu season now down south.

Also if you are 60+ you might want to not get the YF jab for SA if there have been no outbreaks. Risk of side effects is higher than risk of catching. If you are approaching 60 then get it, it's good for 10 years. Ask your travel doctor if you have one, or look online at the CDC website.

Edited: 08 September 2013, 16:41