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Old 24-05-2017, 02:04   #46
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

The marketing is vexing. For example, all those cold and flu products in shiny colors and fancy formulations, and they share the same 3 active ingredients--which cost pennies to produce.

I was aggrieved when I read the labels--husband had talked me into buying theraflu or some such, and it was 15.99 for a jar of sugar syrup and dollar store open patent pharmaceuticals (acetaminophen, diphenhydramine hcl, phenylephrine hcl). I recognized them from old emt and wilderness first responder classes, and from building an an inventory record which included a breakdown of the medical kit I'd put together for baja camping in our 4x4 chinook.

We travel 6 months a year, in our 30s. We prefer to spend our scarce dollars on adventures, tasty food, and libations in good company😎.
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Old 26-05-2017, 08:55   #47
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

h ah aha haha this is why the gods allow antivirus meds to be sold otc here and not antibiotics any more.... okayy.. antivirals chikkin soup and tropical fruits cure all.
except bacterial infections. there, you are on your own.
thank gods also dengue and zika and malaria and chikingunya are viruses and the meds re otc. we win.

to avoid infection by viruses--
donot fly
donot take buses or taxis
donot frequent places where in are large crowds--rules out cool concerts etc...
avoid hospital waiting rooms--hell avoid hospitals. they are filthy with organisms.
and above all--donot count on that magical hand gel for killing germs --alcohol merely moves em around. that stuff was n ot meant to be used in lieu of handwashing.
wash your paws !!!!!
and donot kiss anyone. you will die.
hahahahaha
seriously--do wash hands before and after toilet, eating, sex with self or others, touching face and openings there in, and enjoy living.
hypochondriacs, please wash hands double, as we donot want to catch hypochondria. there is no cure for that deadly disease short of psychotherapy
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Old 26-05-2017, 12:07   #48
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pirate Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

If I paid any notice to advertising I'd be buying Ibuprophen at 6.50euro for 12 instead of generic Paracetamol at 90cents for 20.. been my painkiller of choice for decades.
For the rest.. good fresh food, grind my own herbs and spices plus lots of onions, garlic, root ginger etc. avoid processed/fast food like the plague.
If you've ever worked in a food factory you'd never eat any kind of sausage or burger again..
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Old 26-05-2017, 12:13   #49
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

concur with the fast food thing. once rid of fast food and gringo food i felt mych better.
is amazing how that poison really is poison.
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Old 26-05-2017, 12:28   #50
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pirate Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

My recipe for a feverish cold..
Juice of 1/2 lemon (Vitamin)
2 Tspns Honey (or to taste)
1/8th Tspn Chilli powder (Antibiotic)
1/4 Tspn ground Ginger (Nausea)
4 crushed heads of cloves (Pain killer)
Mix in large mug with shot of Rum (All good medicines contain alcohol ) and then fill with hot water off the boil.
Best at bedtime..

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Old 26-05-2017, 12:31   #51
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

boaty that sounds explosive.
serious remedy. only needs chikky soup in the mix
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Old 26-05-2017, 12:41   #52
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

Had to look up 'norovirus'. Does not look nice at all.

I hope you are getting better! Take good care of yourself!

Cheers,
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Old 31-05-2017, 21:39   #53
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

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Had to look up 'norovirus'. Does not look nice at all.

I hope you are getting better! Take good care of yourself!

Cheers,
b.
Thanks! Just a cold. One of those things where the event is minor but reminds you of less-pleasant times and the question--what would I do differently? Also, "I bet there are lots of great and gruesome stories of thai chicken or mexican water or new port ague."
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:54   #54
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

Eventually eating from street vendors did get to us, we got the amoebic dysentery symptoms, "rice water stools," between Mexico and the Marquesas. It was intentional to take the risk, because the food was so darn good, and we almost escaped unscathed.

At any rate, a two week course of Flagyl (metronizadole) cured both of us.

I would not recommend taking the risk to anyone with a known gastro-intestinal disease.

Ann
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:23   #55
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

My approach is if it doesn't kill you makes you stronger, the key is a diverse and locally appropriate microbiome.

Expats in third world places usually stop the belly aches within three years, but only if they're adventurous.

Fecal transplants help speed things up, the original research was done by DIYers.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:40   #56
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

On our last trip to the Bahamas, my wife contracted a serious eye infection on Bimini. Luckily, it was there and not out in some back of beyond anchorage, where we had been spending most of our time.

We called an eye doctor in the US, described the symptoms, and he said to return to the US and seek emergency help immediately. He also told us to dose her with the Cipro anti-biotic we carried. It was good weather conditions so we immediately crossed the gulf stream back to Miami and went to a hospital.

Even so, it took six weeks of extreme anti-biotic treatment to save her eye. We never did find out where the infection came from, but we suspected a conch raw bar we had eaten at a couple of days before. But, we also swam in a marina swimming pool our first day that we never saw cleaned once in the six days we were there afterwards. But, who knows.

The doctor said women often inflict minor scratches on their eyes with their finger nails that usually heal quickly and without any treatment. But, this one got one of the nastiest pieces of bacteria they had ever seen in it (they said it was related to flesh eating bacteria, but not flesh eating bacteria). She still has a visible scar on her eye from it.

When we return, we will have medical air evacuation insurance.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:54   #57
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

We do go prepared and take precaution. First, we both are trained as Medical Person in Charge. Second, we carry an extensive medical kit. We also have access to a service to advise us and assist us if needed in emergencies. Fortunately, we've encountered very little in the way of illness, the most serious being an allergy attack for which we were prepared. However, we do have antibiotics and antivirals. Norovirus and Flu are not to be laughed at nor is a serious infection or strep or any form of staph infection. It doesn't take extensive exposure. Norovirus can get an entire cruise ship population in a couple of days or a school or an assisted living facility. All it takes is one kitchen worker with it, so if you ever eat in a restaurant, you have the possibility and if one person on your boat gets it, you better treat everyone. Same with the flu, especially forms like H1N1. That's without even getting into Zika. Salmonella and Listeria are possible anywhere.

Now, more of a worry on most boats are things like infections developing from small cuts and sunburn and even broken bones.

I do believe in being prepared.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:09   #58
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

I think getting thoroughly trained for many med challenges is vital.

I am going to improve my own skills and those of my crew before our next escapade. We are lucky as here the Red Cross offers great free training.

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Old 01-06-2017, 17:52   #59
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

Not sure about the flu but I used to get sick about six times a year from even the most minimal exposure to the cold virus. Now I don't get sick at all.

No surprise I'm going to advocate the keto diet here. You don't have to do it permanently but you need to get off carbs immediately when you start feeling a cold oncoming. Ditch the fruit, it's almost as bad as candy in it's effect. Especially important is avoiding all grains as the lectins contained in them cause your intestines much distress. Don't believe me? Give up grains for a month and tell me you don't feel brand new. Or get sick and eat a bunch of bread and tell me the cold doesn't get worse faster.

Btw when I discovered this I was routinely working in small enclosed spaces with colleagues who had colds and never even got the sniffles.
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Old 02-06-2017, 14:25   #60
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Re: Liveaboards and Cruisers get the flu/sick too

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I think this is a topic that cruisers and voyagers should get some training on. An illness that might be a minor inconvenience on-shore could be a serious matter for a short-handed off-shore sailor.

As noted above, seasonal viruses are spread from other infected people. Period. And there isn't much you can "do" about them except stay hydrated and rest.

Dengue, Chikungunya, Malaria, Giardiasis, etc. etc. can be contracted from the environment and can be seriously debilitating to the point that you cannot sail your boat.

Reading through various voyagers books and blogs, I find it striking that almost everybody seems to get a serious staph infection at some point. Vibrio vulnificans and marine mycobacteria infections also seem to be common among sailors. These organisms can cause fast-moving life-threatening acute infections from even minor scrapes and nicks that you might not even notice.

So the first obvious take-away is don't go off shore if you have even a minor issue. It might "go away" but it could just as easily escalate. Wait until you are 100%. A "wilderness medicine" course might be a good investment. I think DAN offers something similar in some areas.

I haven't been a big fan of lay-people stocking antibiotics and such, because most people wouldn't know when and how to use them correctly. But I recently got a copy of "Marine Medicine" by Weiss and Jacobs to keep on board. They've got a concise guide to field-diagnosis of common infections and specific directions on what to take for them. (I'm sure there are other similar books.) Of course, that only helps if you get prescriptions for and stock the stuff that they recommend. (Probably can get most of that OTC in Mexico and many other places.)

(Not a hypochondriac: semi-retired microbiology professor.)
Registered nurse here -- as is my husband and the child. (OK, she just graduated from nursing school and isn't registered yet. But she's taken a few wilderness medicine courses.)

We have Cipro and Clindamycin on board, prescribed by our PCP before we left the dock. I take the Clindamycin before any dental procedure, etc. due to my history of joint replacements.

First aid kit is put together by us using sizes/types of bandages, tape, steri-strips, super glue, etc. that we think is appropriate and not the pre-packaged "First Aid Kits" that contain nothing but junk that no one is likely to need and cost a fortune. We have a thermometer, sphygmomanometer and stethescope for monitoring our blood pressures.

We have OTC cold medications -- enough for each of us for 5-7 days. I think we'll have to replace all of that before the next cold and flu season as we've had it for a couple of years.

Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

I have a prescription for Flexaril due to my back issues -- comes in handy a few times a year.

An OTC laxative (we're older), anti-diarrheal and antacid. Anti-histamines and Dramamine for motion sickness. We don't have anything for nausea and vomiting, although I've noticed that with a lower intake of tequila, I have less nausea and vomiting.

I keep a box of Kleenex even though DH thinks that's a waste of space, one can just use toilet paper. (Kleenex is easier on the nose.) Chemical hot and cold packs, although I think they're a waste of space and won't be replaced.

Our boat is 37 feet, and we're coastal cruisers. If we were going offshore, we'd have to get more serious about our kit.
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