We are now two months out until we leave for our South Africa adventure. This means the travel prep is now underway! One of the first things that I did when we were discussing South Africa was to see what medical precautions I would need to do. I went to the CDC’s website to see if I needed any vaccines, medicine, etc. Looking at the website I saw that I that the CDC recommends the following:
- Flu Shot
- Hep A and B
Looking at this list I thought I could just go to my primary doctor, have a little chat and get the shots that I needed. Talking to my friend who went to China last year she informed me it would be best to go to a travel doctor. A travel doctor? I’ve never heard of such a doctor before, but I trusted her since she has gone through this before. I contacted my primary inquiring if he wanted met to come into the office or a travel doctor. He stated he prefers a travel doctor and he gave me a few options of where I could go. I called the one that was most convenient and found that there was no wait for an appointment and I was able to get in to see the doctor the next day.
I went in to the office and discussed the itinerary with the doctor. She had a packet all ready with print outs of traveler reports with health concerns and a printout with general traveler advice. During the discussion she stated that based on my health and history that I would only need to get the tetanus, typhoid, and hep A shots. The hep A is a series of 2 shots that are spaced 6 months apart, but I will be ok with just the one shot for the trip. She said that based on the current information available regarding malaria, recently there was a reported case of malaria in Limpopo Providence where we will be staying. As a result she gave me a prescription for malaria that I have to take before entering the providence, while we are there, and for some time after we leave. She also provided me with a prescription for Cipro as a precaution for possible stomach problems that may be encountered. She did advise to only eat:
- Thoroughly cook proteins
- Fruits with skins that can be washed and removed such as bananas
- Pasteurized milk/cream (guess it’s a good thing I drink my coffee black 🙂 )
Also to combat any stomach problems that may be incurred it was suggested we travel with powder gatorade. I thought this was a good suggestion – even when traveling in a location where stomach issues may not be a problem. Usually I try to drink bottled water when traveling but sometimes you want a little change and this is a great option for that.
I thought I would have to make a separate office visit to get the shots, but I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get all of the immunizations right then and there! I was and out of the office within a half hour with 2 immunizations and the needed prescriptions.
Next on my prep list:
- Get the needed additional items:
- Bug spray with DEET
- Over the counter medicines
- Powder gatorade
- Figure out what to pack
I think figuring out what to pack is going to be a challenge let alone trying not to overpack!