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Old 22-06-2017, 22:12   #1
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Immunizations for Caribbean

Hi all,
I am wondering about suggested immunizations for the Caribbean. Doctors all seem to have different opinions....
What immunizations should a person have before setting off on the cruising life?
Thanks in Advance for any advice/information!!!
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Old 22-06-2017, 22:32   #2
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

It is always worth having the hepatitis shots but otherwise no others necessary unless you go to certain Central American regions where yellow fever shots are advised.

Zika, for which there is no vaccine, is more of a health concern especially if you and female companion are of reproductive age.
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Old 22-06-2017, 22:33   #3
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

depends on specific locations, "the Caribbean" is too broad.

Virgin Islands just hep A and maybe typhoid. Antilles has had rabies issues. Hep B for anywhere, if you plan on being "adventurous".

Etc.

Try this: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
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Old 23-06-2017, 09:20   #4
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

I believe you can find the recommended vaccinations to take on the sites of the US government and the WHO.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/

WHO | Vaccines

You could also check the government sites (Health Secretaries) of the countries you plan to visit. Remember to log the vaccinations in the little vaccination book (proof you took them) as some countries/regions demand proof of a valid Yellow Fever shot.

As mentioned, there is no vaccine for Dengue or Zika, but most others have vaccinations (Yellow fever etc.).
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Old 23-06-2017, 09:23   #5
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

This is what we were recommended to get before we left the UK for the Caribbean and Central America

Typhoid
Polio
Tetanus
Diphtheria
Rabies
Hepatitis A & B (TwinRix)
Yellow fever
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Old 23-06-2017, 10:07   #6
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

Even those staying in the "earlier/more developed" world should keep Tetanus up to date.

If you haven't, then DTP -*Diphtheria*Tetanus Polio*- is a standard combo shot.
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Old 23-06-2017, 10:35   #7
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

I find travel docs tend to over kill and/or dont really understand the region (Central America anyway).

Look to WHO/CDC for fact based recommendations.

For example, CDC/WHO only recommend Yellow Fever vaccination if travelling to remote areas E of the Panama Canal.

Here in Central America the biggest concern is the hemoragic strain of Dengue...for which there is no vaccine. Regular Dengue wont kill u, just make you feel like dying.

Many think of Malaria as one disease but its not...there are many strains. By far (something like 95%) the most common strain in Central America is very mild and very treatable. Whereas some of the preventatives are hard on your body and have side effects. They are also not 100% effective. Ive known several visitors who took anti malarial meds and still got malaria.

Also if you do contract a tropical disease, for your own good get treated in the region where you got it and the docs know the diesease. Ive know several who went back to the USA and had very bad experiences with docs who just dont know tropical diseases...one young girl who was damn near killed by the Hospital trying to treat a simple Bot Fly infestation (look that one up...it may keep you awake at night!) 😆
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Old 23-06-2017, 10:44   #8
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I find travel docs tend to over kill and/or dont really understand the region (Central America anyway).

Look to WHO/CDC for fact based recommendations.

For example, CDC/WHO only recommend Yellow Fever vaccination if travelling to remote areas E of the Panama Canal.

Here in Central America the biggest concern is the hemoragic strain of Dengue...for which there is no vaccine. Regular Dengue wont kill u, just make you feel like dying.

Many think of Malaria as one disease but its not...there are many strains. By far (something like 95%) the most common strain in Central America is very mild and very treatable. Whereas some of the preventatives are hard on your body and have side effects. They are also not 100% effective. Ive known several visitors who took anti malarial meds and still got malaria.

Also if you do contract a tropical disease, for your own good get treated in the region where you got it and the docs know the diesease. Ive know several who went back to the USA and had very bad experiences with docs who just dont know tropical diseases...one young girl who was damn near killed by the Hospital trying to treat a simple Bot Fly infestation (look that one up...it may keep you awake at night!) 😆
I'm curious about how they almost killed her treating bot fly larvae...

I've squeezed so many of them of out of my dogs that I've lost count!
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Old 23-06-2017, 11:05   #9
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

Yes, I got a stomach bug in Cambodia that Bangkok's top hospital's Tropical Gastro unit needed two weeks and three sets of samples to identify, they'd never seen it before, less than an hour away! Turned out to be fungal. . .
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Old 23-06-2017, 12:30   #10
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
I'm curious about how they almost killed her treating bot fly larvae...

I've squeezed so many of them of out of my dogs that I've lost count!
They had no idea what it was. Decided to try a remove surgically under a general anesthtic! She had a bad reaction to the anethesic.
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Old 23-06-2017, 12:53   #11
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
They had no idea what it was. Decided to try a remove surgically under a general anesthtic! She had a bad reaction to the anethesic.
All the more reason to get treated locally, where doctors are familiar with local health issues.
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Old 23-06-2017, 13:44   #12
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Re: Immunizations for Caribbean

What Copa said. Follow the advice that is updated as necessary on the US and UN web sites. They are specific about hazards and countries.

You may choose to be more conservative, i.e. you may choose to be more cautious than they say, or less.

And while they don't mention it, I happened to notice a remark in the Dashew's older book that malaria parasites can remain viable in the body for 30 days, so if you are taking anti-malarials, they should be started early and continued for 30 days after you have left the questionable area.

Some larger hospitals have a "tropical diseases" specialist. If you can find one locally--that's a good source who may be of more help than web pages, or a family gp.
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