During the world trip, we will spend some time in places which are more or less healthy so it is very important to get prepared to every possibilities, infections or injuries! One of the worst aspect of the preparation, boring and not fun at all, but maybe the most important one!
Beware to mosquitoes!
Of course the first and main danger we think about are mosquitoes! Responsible for the malaria and the dengue, they are the biggest killers of human beings every year, far away ahead snakes or sharks for example.
The 4 main rules against mosquitos!
- Wear adequate clothes at night time. Most of mosquitoes will attack as soon as soon as sunset, particularly at dawn, Be prepare as they loooove ankles, arms and wrists! The best thing is to wear long pants and sleeves, wide and light adapted for warm countries. Also an opportunity to buy local clothe such as the Indian sari!
- Smear yourself with sprays against mosquitoes, and don’t hesitate to put as much as possible. Some exotic ones are very good and powerful.
- Sleep under a mosquito net which is soaked with a special spray, two or three protections are better than one!
- Finally, don’t forget natural tools against mosquitoes! For example bats are your best friends against them, they like this dinner!
- Malaria: There are no vaccines existing at the moment, a good reason to protect ourselves as much as possible! It is located in humid and tropical regions, below 1,500 meters of altitude and is potentially lethal. Preventive medicines can be taken but the side effects (stomach usually) are quite heavy and they are expensive. If you are interested though, talk to your doctor who knows you and your background. If you take one of the two main medicines against it, malarone and doxycycline, remember you have to take them before going to the risk zone and continue even after you left it, for a few days.
- Dengue: No vaccines either, this mosquito attacks during the day! The consequences are less important, not fatal but can triggers on hot fever. Be careful and wear long clothes (sleeves, pants) while you are in the risk areas,
Disease carrier: It is as well given by mosquitos, stinging during the day and late afternoon, the yellow fever is mostly present in tropical countries, such as Africa and Central America. Vaccines are available but they are not compulsory in many countrires (but some are explicilty asking for it such as French Guyana). We highly recommend it.
Dosage and cost: Just one injection at least 15 days before leaving, valide for 10 years. Cost is €60.
Disease carrier: Again by mosquitos, it is also in Asia, particularly in rural environments, or wet, swampy! No risks in the cities.
Dosage and cost: Two injections, with a time slot of three weeks between each of then, and finally a last one around 12/24 months after the first vaccine. Cost of €100 for both injections.
Disease carrier: Transmitted by food (like seafood) and contaminated water by salmonella, risks are mainly in South-Asia and Peru/Ecuador. Respecting well the usual health rules will be the main protection for you!
Dosage and cost: One injection at least 15 days before leaving, valid for 3 years after. Cost of €50.
Disease carrier: It is present everywhere as soon as there is contaminated water of not very fresh food. Be careful not only to tap water you want to drink but also when you brush your teeth, when washing the fruits and also the ice in your drinks which are absolutely to stop). Mainly in India. It is worth underlining the micropurs pills can be put into the water minutes before you are going to drink, with the immediate result of cleaning the water! Good to take a lot with you during your world trip! And if you don’t have any medicines and you need to drink tap water, an excellent and natural way to protect yourself is to boil the water in order to kill the bacteria!
Dosage and cost: One injection at least 15 days before you leave, valid for 3 to 5 years depending on the type of vaccines you will do. Cost is around €60.
Disease carrier: It is linked to a virus in the blood and consequently it can be given while a sexual relation or by blood transfusion
Dosage and cost: 2 injections separated by one month slot and then a third one 6 months after the first one. Cost of €5 the first one and the €7 for the vaccine you can buy at the chemist.
Disease carrier: It is given by bites of contaminated animals, like stray dogs, lot in South America. Coming from their saliva, it is very important you stay away from apparently sick animals. If you have any doubt after a more or less contact with an animal, run to the closest specialized center and explain that you have been bitten.
Dosage and cost: 3 separated injections before leaving. Cost of €50 for the first vaccine and then €45 for the two following ones
Vaccine is compulsory in many countries, so it is highly possible you already vaccinated 🙂
As you understood, vaccines have to be taken into account when you prepare the budget for your world trip! It is also possible your home health insurance reimburse part of them, check it so you don’t stop it until you have done them. According to us, yellow fever, typhoid and the two hepatitis are the main ones.
Remind that there is no vaccine against malaria as of today. That means if you get stung, you will suffer consequences for the rest of your life, so be careful and take the usual precautions: sleep under a mosquito nest which is soaked with a special spray, wear long pants and sleeves at night time and always check if the region you are going to may be considered as a “risk” region or not, particularly the wet tropical rural areas. The bad thing with the two main “preventive medicines”, Doxycycline and Malarone are the negative side effect, a lot of constraints, and consequences on the digestive system. Keep informed and check all the forums of travellers speaking about this issue.
Finally a thing we haven’t mentioned and that you may experience during your trip is the altitude sickness, especially in the Himalaya (Nepal) or in the Andes (Bolivia). Just climb, go up slowly and quietly in order to progress at a steady pace, not too fast. Symptoms include tiredness, nausea, vomiting, difficulties to breathe or strong headache, also due to the increasing scarcity of oxygen, and the atmospheric pressure. Of course no vaccines, but on order to manage that problem if you feel it, have regular breaks, drink a lot of water or even chew a bit of coca leafs as the locals do in Bolivia or Peru. If it doesn’t go away, just go down, and don’t regret anything. In the Annapurna or in the Altiplano, landscapes are beautiful everywhere, your health is more important than anything!
And last but not least, prepare very well your pharmacy kit and your first aid kit, very complete and keep the prescriptions just in case. Take lot of things for one year, tell your doctor before leaving.