Health and safety forum

Back Packing and pregnant

  • lokioscarro-
    sie

    Joined Travelfish
    30th December, 2008
    Posts: 3

    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 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 06:36

  • Advertisement

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    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 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 07:34

  • lokioscarro-
    sie

    Joined Travelfish
    30th December, 2008
    Posts: 3

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

    #3 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 07:52

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7040
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    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 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 09:52

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    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 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 11:51

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7040
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    "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 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 13:44

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    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 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 14:58

  • tails101

    Joined Travelfish
    1st April, 2006
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 105

    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 Posted: 30/8/2009 - 22:16

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    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 Posted: 31/8/2009 - 00:51

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    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 Posted: 31/8/2009 - 04:10

  • Advertisement

  • lokioscarro-
    sie

    Joined Travelfish
    30th December, 2008
    Posts: 3

    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 Posted: 31/8/2009 - 04:20

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    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 Posted: 31/8/2009 - 06:00

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    Ginger fruit juice... disgusting.

    #13 Posted: 31/8/2009 - 09:59

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
Back packing from India to Japan and back ... By frastam on 18 Dec 2011 1 952 18 Dec 2011
back-packing: what to bring/ what not to bring ... By ryder80 on 7 Jan 2011 2 4435 7 Jan 2011