Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Monday, March 18, 2013

Yellow fever vaccination for seamen & travelers

Several years ago, I wrote a post on vaccines for travelers. I missed out on yellow fever vaccination which is needed by seamen and travelers going to Africa and South America in particular. The place to get the vaccination is the Bureau of Quarantine, 25th Street, Port Area, Manila. It's right behind Manila Hotel, beside the gate leading to the Super Ferry Terminal. Here is a location map.

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease which can be passed on via contact with other people or mosquitoes. There is no cure for yellow fever but it can be prevented with vaccination. I had my first yellow fever vaccination in 2002 before I left for the Ship for Southeast Asian Program (SSEAYP) and it was valid for ten years. So I needed another shot.

I was surprised getting the vaccine was really quick and convenient. Here are five easy steps to follow:
1. Bring a ballpen. Fill out the two information forms that are available at the door.
2. Line up inside and wait for the nurse to call you for your shots. The nurse will check if your signed forms are in order, ask a few questions, and then administer your vaccination. This was very quick.
3. Pay Php1,500 at the cashier.
4. Bring the smaller information form to the typing station. Sit down as they prepare your International Certificate of Vaccination. This should also be quick since they only need to type in your name, date of birth and sex.
5. You will be called once the certificate is done. Sign the certificate in their presence and you're done.

Yellow fever vaccination is available Mondays to Fridays from 8 to 11 a.m and 1 to 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. More details in the DOH website.

Yellow fever endemic countries include: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, Uganda, Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa or Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Zambia in Africa; Panama in Central America; and Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela in South America.

Bakuna laban sa yellow fever para sa mga mandaragat o marino
Ang bakuna para sa yellow fever ay kailangan ng mga mandaragat o marino at mga turista na papunta lalo na sa Aprika at Timog Amerika. Madali lang kumuha nito mula sa Bureau of Quarantine na matatagpuan sa likod ng Manila Hotel, katabi lamang ng gate papuntang Super Ferry Terminal. Ito ang mga kailangang gawin:
1. Magdala ng ballpen. Punan ang dalawang information form na matatagpuan sa harap ng pinto.
2. Pumila sa loob at hintaying tawagin ng nars para sa iyong bakuna. Titignan ng nars kung ang pinirmahang form ay tama bago ka bigyan ng bakuna. Mabilis lang ito matapos.
3. Magbayad ng Php1,500 sa kahera.
4. Dalhin ang maliit na form sa mga encoder. Umupo habang ginagawa ang International Certificate of Vaccination o Pandaigdig na Katibayan ng Pagbabakuna. Mabilis lang rin ito dahil pangalan mo lang, kaarawan at kasarian ang kailangan nilang ilagay.
5. Tatawagin ka pag tapos na ang katibayan o certificate. Pirmahan ang katibayan sa harap nila at tapos na.

Ang bakuna para yellow fever ay maaring makuha mula Lunes hanggang Biyernes, ika-8 hanggang ika-11 ng umaga at ika-1 hanggang ika-3 ng hapon at Sabado mula ika-8 hanggang ika-11 ng umaga. Bisitahin ang DOH website para sa iba pang detalye.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vaccines for travelers

Vaccines for travelers have become all the more important with so many nasty bugs and other communicable diseases out there. Last year I was downed by the flu virus (said to be extra nasty in 2008) for almost two weeks! So this year, I decided to get the proper immunization to prevent these inconveniences. In fact, there are several recommended vaccines for frequent travelers. But of course, these vaccines are not just beneficial for travelers but everyone in general.

Influenza, commonly called the flu or trangkaso, is a contagious viral disease. Vaccination for influenza should be done annually since the different strains mutate regularly. Remember that flu vaccines are valid only for the year they are released. So as soon as the latest annual flu vaccine is out, even if you just got vaccinated a few months back, you'll need to go back to your doctor for the new shots. The best time to get the flu vaccine is between February to June to prepare for the rainy season and cold months which is flu season.

Typhoid fever or typhoid is caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. If you're a fan of street food, the typhoid vaccine is for you. It is transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacteria. Typhoid is characterized by a sustained fever as high as 40 °C, profuse sweating, gastroenteritis, and non-bloody diarrhea. Typhoid is strongly endemic in the Philippines meaning it's very common here.

Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a viral or bacterial infection. The bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e. coughing, kissing). Meningitis is an infection of fluid surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. Meningococcal vaccine is sometimes required for college freshmen living in dormitories in the U.S. as well as U.S. military recruits. It's recommended for travelers, especially backpackers, who frequent dormitories and hostels or common places in general such as congested markets and crowded areas, especially in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Cholera is an infectious gastroenteritis caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Just like typhoid, transmission happens through eating food or drinking water contaminated with the bacteria. So again, if you're visiting a country known to have cholera and can't live without trying the local food, then make sure you get shots. Incidences of cholera increase as a result of floods.

Hepatitis A is an acute infectious disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Another virus commonly transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food or drinking water, vaccine is a must for frequent travelers.

Update (03/18/2013): Here is information on yellow fever vaccination.

Here in the Philippines, there are clinics which specialize in preventive medicine. This afternoon, I was at Immunizers, a medical clinic for vaccination services, to get my flu shots. I also had a blood test to determine whether I still need vaccination for Hepatitis and I'll know the results tomorrow. If you're a frequent traveler, it might be convenient for you to get vaccinated. It's better to be safe than sorry while on a trip. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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