Typoid Mary Stay Away!

Trip Start Nov 10, 2011
Trip End Dec 03, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, August 12, 2011

Today was an interesting and informative day.  Because we are traveling to a part of the world that is, well, maybe not completely 1st World, we need to be current on all our vaccines, plus get an additional vaccine for typhoid.  Although I had already looked on the CDC website to learn what vaccines were necessary, we were required to undergo counseling from a nurse at the University Travel Clinic before receiving our vaccine for typhoid.  If we were planning on camping, backpacking, or staying in homes of family or friends, we would be encouraged to get a rabies vaccine.  Through my family doctor, I have just completed the series of shots for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B so I should be able to eat at Taco Bell without fear of catching Hep A!  Disclaimer:  Several years ago there was an outbreak of Hep A in SLC that was traced back to a Taco Bell. 

Here is what we learned about typhoid -- it is salmonella poisoning.  Considering that we have outbreaks of salmonella in our food source, wouldn't it seem logical that a typhoid vaccine be recommended for everyone?  Especially, children?  We think of typhoid as this horrendous 3rd World disease but, yet, we call it by a different name in the Western world and blame inadequate sanitary practices where our food is processed.  Go figure. 

As we discussed with the nurse our options, it became evident this was a no-brainer decision.  Get a shot -- OUCH!! -- which is good for two years, or take four pills over eight days that are good for five years.  Gee, do you wonder which option we chose?  I am finished with needles for a while -- the Hep A/Hep B combo hurts . . . like . . . hell.  No wonder babies cry when they get shots. 

We also learned just how much Big Brother is Watching.  All the vaccines we have received since moving to Utah are in a state data base.  I also noticed that many of my vaccines from my childhood, in Washington and California, are listed in that data base.  I'd like to know what other personal information is floating around for medical personnel or, even scarier, insurance companies, to obtain. 

Three months from yesterday we will land in Amman, Jordan -- jet lagged for sure!  Stay tuned for updates . . . .
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