For Your Health


Enjoying cold but sunny San Diego for a few more days

Enjoying cold but sunny San Diego for a few more days

Today was shot day.  Based on a recommendation from the pharmacist at CVS, we went to Passport Health so I could get a yellow fever shot.  Apparently very few places give yellow fever shots (most doctor’s offices don’t do them) since there is a different permit you have to have to administer it.  Don’t ask me why.  All I know is that you have to prove you have had one within 10 years to travel to Panama and some surrounding countries after you have been to Panama.

Recently a friend of mine asked me what yellow fever is.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine it is: caused by a virus carried by mosquitoes. You can catch this disease if you are bitten by a mosquito infected with this virus. It’s common in South America and in sub-Saharan Africa.

Yellow fever has three stages:

  • Stage 1 (infection): Headache, muscle and joint aches, fever, flushing, loss of appetite, vomiting, and jaundice are common. Symptoms often go away briefly after about 3-4 days.
  • Stage 2 (remission):  Fever and other symptoms go away. Most people will recover at this stage, but others may get worse within 24 hours.
  • Stage 3 (intoxication): Problems with many organs occur. This may include heart, liver, and kidney failure, bleeding disorders, seizures, coma, and delirium.

Yellow fever doesn’t sound fun, thus the need for the vaccine.

Travel Gear

There can a long list of recommended vaccines based upon where you are travelling, but only some are required and will be checked.    I have to say, in my adult life I’ve been pretty lazy about my vaccinations.  I think the last time I had them was when they required them for college which a long time ago.

The Passport Health staff was awesome.  They were so helpful and they even had this awesome anti motion sickness sniffer.  It has natural oils in it and you breathe it if you are feeling nauseous.  Done.  I’ve always had a weak stomach.  I think Erik is pretty solid, but I was the kid that barfed on myself on the schoolbus in 4th grade on the way to the zoo.  Have you ever seen blueberry muffins after they have been partially digested?  I don’t recommend it!

They also printed out an awesome booklet on health and safety information for the countries we are visiting.  For each country the book includes:Traveler Health

  1. country descriptions
  2. info on climate
  3. any health concerns
  4. security and safety concerns
  5. water safety
  6. border areas
  7. crime
  8. where to go if you are a victim of a crime
  9. medical facilities
  10. road conditions
  11. visa/entry requirements
  12. consulate and embassy locations

To say the least, we were really impressed with the service.  While we aren’t worried about getting sick or our safety, it’s better to take precautions and be aware of various risks than get caught with your pants down (or no pants at all).