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Back Packing and pregnant

Posted by lokioscarrosie on 30/8/2009 at 06:36

Hi, My wife and I are backpacking through Thailand, Vietnam & Cambodia. We have had been dreaming about this trip for ages. We just found out yesterday that we are going to have a baby. My wife cannot get the injections or take maleria tablets. Is it still possible to travel safely through those area while pregnant without malaria tablets or injections?

#1 lokioscarrosie has been a member since 30/12/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by BruceMoon on 30/8/2009 at 07:34

lokioscarrosie

Congratulations

I don't want to sound patronising, but I do want to say that whenever one thinks about travel in far off places, the mind has a habit of wondering about risks. That's normal (and a good way to start preparing for travel).

Malaria does exist in SE Asia, but only in a few pockets of the deep dark boondocks. Most of the places you will probably visit have long been declared malaria free.

If you believe the drug companies, you will spend huge sums of money on their drugs so that they make a profit, and at the same time put your body under stress. Simply, no drug will keep you immune from malaria, and some drugs are downright dangerous. The best protection from malaria is to wear appropriate clothing, use a bug repellent, and sleep wisely. On the subject of malaria, drugs and repellents, look here for chemicals NOT to use and natural based repellents .

That said, there are other diseases carried by mosquito's. So, just because you will likely not be travelling through malaria areas, you will still be wise to use a bug repellent.

As for other travel innoculations, many westerners have had shots while young. I understand that typhoid, hepatitis A & B, diphtheria, tetanus and polio are the one's you'll be considering, and you probably had most as a kid.

Best idea may be to go visit your doctor and discuss what is best for the two of you. And, don't be fooled into spending much money to aid the doctor's profit. On innoculations, go look here and here and especially here and maybe also this one .

Hope this helps.

Cheers

#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941


Posted by lokioscarrosie on 30/8/2009 at 07:52

Thanks for your reply. We're seeing the doctor tomorrow and will know more then.

#3 lokioscarrosie has been a member since 30/12/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by somtam2000 on 30/8/2009 at 09:52 admin

Short answer is it depends where you are going in the above countries. There is some discussion of this here and it might be useful to give it a read before talking to your doc.
http://www.travelfish.org/feature/95

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,434
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Posted by BruceMoon on 30/8/2009 at 11:51

somtam2000

The link you provided uses outdated and misleading information.

It suggests using DEET - this grossly horrible chemical is now being phased out around the world (except for the US, where it's health considerations reflect drug company desires, not user health).

The site makes reference to Permethrin. This is now a banned chemical for human use.

The site very sadly makes no reference to the fact that the (now global) Travel Doctor website, and many Travel Doctor agencies, are funded by drug companies. I acknowledge that the site refers to travel medical doctors, not Travel Doctor per se. However, the reference to travel medical doctors does nothing to alert people that not all travel medical doctors are equal.

As an overall perception, the first part of the site does the 'warning', while the second part unravels the 'warning' to explain the situation. Because of the first part - the 'warning' - I suggest that readers would go to their local doctor, who then hooks into the Travel Doctor, and so the reader doesn't know that their doctor is part of an elaborate marketing campaign by drug companies to sell their drugs.

Cheers

#5 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somtam2000 on 30/8/2009 at 13:44 admin

"The link you provided uses outdated and misleading information."

Really -- you didn't seem to think so when you commented on the story a couple of months back.

The story suggests using a repellent containing DEET -- some of the links you have linked to explain that the percentage of DEET is capped. It is a bad idea to drink DEET.

The story suggests using a permethrin impregnated mosquito net -- it doesn't suggest applying permethrin to the skin or drinking it.

The story suggests that prospective travellers go and speak to a travel doctor -- at no stage does it refer to the travel doctor website(s) -- it probably should.

I think the story is a little out of date regarding some of the information on resistance to various malarials, but I'll need to run it by the author to get her to double check.

The story doesn't mention any kind of global conspiracy among the world's doctors/drug companies to try and get travellers to spend as much dough as possible -- primarily because that really is misleading information.

The OP looks to be taking the right approach -- asking questions and going to see a doctor -- sounds like a sensible approach to me.

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,434
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Posted by BruceMoon on 30/8/2009 at 14:58

somtam2000

I don't know whether you are Stuart, or the faceless imposter.

Your arguments are pointless. All they do is seek to raise YOUR view that the article is OK, yet, you also say I think the story is a little out of date regarding some of the information

The simple fact is that the article needs updating to reflect current thinking, and IMHO, to alert readers that there is a host of differing points of view out there and some are reflective of drug companies' interests, not good health management.

Mmmm!!!

#7 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by tails101 on 30/8/2009 at 22:16

Brucemoon.

Your take on what Somtam states on the article being out of date is very different from what Somtam actually said about the article being out of date... Somtam specfically listed the reason he thought the article needed updating where you try to suggest he was very vague about what was a little out of date.

I don't think any drug company made a fortune on my recently purchased Doxycycline as it cost me less than £5... nor was it forced down my throat by any drug funded doctor - it was actually prescriped for me by a pharmacist friend who gave me the options and left it up to me. Having taken the stuff in the past with no side effects, I made the decision to take it on my next trip.

#8 tails101 has been a member since 1/4/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 105
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Posted by somsai on 31/8/2009 at 00:51

Antimalarial Boilermaker = Tall cold glass of 25% Deet followed with a shot of Permethrin, down the hatch, bottoms up, look out Malariology Parasitology!

In wanders around the web last night I came across this,
http://www.actmalaria.net/downloads/pdf/info/2008/Lao%20PDR%20Malaria%20Country%20Profile%202008.pdf
and thought it would be relevent to the next malaria thread, low and behold here we are. All linked info and comments for Laos only.

Notice the most recent date is 07. If rates of decrease for infection and mortality were to have stayed constant for the last 2 years as they did for the last 5 you'd think we'd see another halving, down to one death per million, or malaria infection rates of 2,000 per million. Assuming a population of 6 million wouldn't that rate bring malaria within the realm of being called a rare disease?

Yet when I go to the CDC which is the authoritative source for travel clinics in the USA I get a malaria map like this.
http://cdc-malaria.ncsa.uiuc.edu/cdc-malaria/Default.aspx#
enter a country in the search function. For Laos it lista all areas outside of Vientiane as being malarial, and they don't know the difference between Vientiane capital zone and the province. Vientiane province contains some areas still in a conflict area that haven't seen eradication efforts ever, and back when they really did have malaria, people would catch it within 3km of Nam Phou fountain. Useless. And this info is what every American doctor would use as a source so they couldn't get sued.

Just about every doctor or travel clinic in my country would go to the CDC site and then recomend a long laundry list of drugs that are useless for a diseases that is less likely than say, , , lightning, , , old age, , Here's the full link,
http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/laos.aspx
Bear in mind the US has the most expensive and worst health care system of the industrialized rich countries of the world.

#9 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 567

Posted by somsai on 31/8/2009 at 04:10

lokioscarrosie,

I got so involved in my rant I didn't even say congrats! I would think you both would want to enjoy while possible, after a bit comes the nausea then more blisfull months of expectation, then a change in the way one travels, and how often. Git while the gitten is good.

In looking back at your post I notice you aren't headed to Laos anyway. I do know that twenty years ago malaria was no longer a concern for anyone in Thailand. I've found that doctors in the country you are traveling to have a much greater idea of malaria risk, it was very recently that they were dealing with it yearly. Likewise I wouldn't ask a doctor in Vietnam about type 2 diabetese in adolescents, a well read doctor would have probably heard of it but never seen it.

Somsai is a real nice name.

#10 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 567

Posted by lokioscarrosie on 31/8/2009 at 04:20

SomSai,
Thank you. Laos was in our plans at first but we needed to be careful in not trying to see too much in a short amount of time. (Perhaps after the bub is born?)

#11 lokioscarrosie has been a member since 30/12/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by BruceMoon on 31/8/2009 at 06:00

lokioscarrosie

A natural remedy for morning sickness?

ginger - and eating small amounts of food every 3 or 4 hours (or so).

Apparently it doesn't matter if it's fresh ginger in fruit juice, crystalised ginger, ginger cordial, the women I've talked to all say they get positive benefits from taking ginger.

Cheers

#12 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 31/8/2009 at 09:59

Ginger fruit juice... disgusting.

#13 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


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