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feesh

Jan 22, 2003, 1:08 PM

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Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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I am heading to the Yucatan (Tulum) for the first time in Feb, coming from Vancouver. The deal is - my parents weren't very big on vaccinations, and the last booster I got was in kindergarten. Now, I am wondering if I really really need to get some shots, or not. Any suggestions? Anything that is more essential than the rest?



sparks

Jan 22, 2003, 3:37 PM

Post #2 of 24 (5219 views)

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Re: [feesh] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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I don't but am I stupid? All can say is - with a few trips to Costa Rica, Belize and 10 trips or so to Mexico - I've never caught anything including the "revenge". I did bring back a bot-fly larva (under my skin) (planted by a mosquito) one time but prevention would not have helped.


Mereja

Jan 22, 2003, 9:25 PM

Post #3 of 24 (5150 views)

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Re: [feesh] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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I got a Hep A before I went this time. But I only did it because I had been interpreting for a man up here in Washington that got Hep. A supposedly from drinking water in gallon jugs at work. Apparently someone who is a carrier drank straight from the jug and then he drank from a cup that came from the jug. He almost died, had blood transfusions. Had to be flown to Seattle and was in the hospital for 3 weeks.

I think if you are going to be eating in restaurants or taco stands it is not a bad idea. I would have gotten this even if I wasn't going to Mexico. I decided to get it for my daughter a few years ago after a kid at school spit on her. Yuck.


(This post was edited by Mereja on Jan 29, 2003, 10:05 PM)


jennifer rose

Jan 22, 2003, 9:37 PM

Post #4 of 24 (5170 views)

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Re: [feesh] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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I do not get immunized, nor has any member of my family. And we've not suffered any problems which could've been averted by immunizations.


Rolly


Jan 23, 2003, 6:06 AM

Post #5 of 24 (5152 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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ditto

Rolly Pirate


Uncle Jack


Jan 23, 2003, 6:29 AM

Post #6 of 24 (5153 views)

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Okay, Rolly, tell me why.

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Both you and the ever lovely Ms. jennifer are considered by most of us to be well informed denizens of Mexico. Why would you choose to not be inoculated against hepatitis?

Do the inoculations not work?

Are the some unpleasant side effects?

Are they expensive?

Is hepatitis not as much of a problem in Mexico as we have been led to believe?


esperanza

Jan 23, 2003, 6:29 AM

Post #7 of 24 (5118 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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Same here.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Don


Jan 23, 2003, 7:24 AM

Post #8 of 24 (5122 views)

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Re: [Uncle Jack] Okay, Rolly, tell me why.

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I had the hepatitus shots. Three shots in total. No side affects. I did not get them as an everyday precaution. I had some liver problems develop several years ago and my doctors in the U.S. and Mexico insisted I take them to protect my liver. Even in the U.S. they have small outbreaks of hepatitus, in different areas, yet it is not common in the U.S. to get the shots.


(This post was edited by Don on Jan 23, 2003, 7:24 AM)


The Old Gringo

Jan 23, 2003, 8:39 AM

Post #9 of 24 (5108 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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I don't know if any of this is relevant, but since folks are weighing in with their experience, here goes mine:

I received a whole battery of immunizations (including HEP A) from the travel or international medicine section of an HMO. Truth be known, I never got sick before or after that, but it was considered "cheap insurance" at the time. I was visiting for extended periods other countries besides Mexico.

A very close friend got both Dengue Fever and Hepatitis while in Mexico (on 2 separate occasions.) I'm sure every one has a story about someone they knew or knew of.

I and several companions got violently ill once from eating Ceviche in a very nice restaurant in La Paz, BCS. The only member of our "party" that didnt eat the Ceviche was fine. I regularly eat Ceviche from little old ladies with home-made Ceviche in a bucket on the beach and have never gotten ill. The only other significant episode was in Guatemala but that too, was food/water related.

I have travelled a lot in the region and usually eat "most anywhere" within reason, including some roadside restaurants and market booths. I use the same screening process in the States or Canada that I do in Mexico. These previous food episodes were over a span of years, not weeks. Common sense and most travel books would suggest to not eat from vendors on the beach but to eat in "nice" restaurants, yet in my previous example it really boiled down to "luck". Maybe immunizations help increase your luck. I don't know.

Clearly, immunizations don't protect from those types of issues but one can just as easily contract Hepatitis from food handling.

I think one has to be realistic about one's personal health. Do you get a lot of colds, virus or infections and such? Perhaps your immune system isn't as robust as others. I traveled with a friend who ate exactly what I ate and he would go back to his room and be miserable for 2 days while I was up enjoying myself. Who knows? My point is to be aware of our own sensitivities and if one is "prone to illness" perhaps immun are a good idea. If they do nothing more, they can provide some small measure of peace of mind.

I think if I were moving to Mexico for the first time, especially to someplace like Ajijic, away from the coastal, tropical mosquito-infested zones, I wouldn't bother. BUT THAT IS ME. I don't presume to give anyone medical advice!!!

I don't think it's fair to characterize Mexico as the third world anymore, but there are pockets that are removed from modern infrastructure, but bearing that in mind, if one takes an overly cautious approach to life and living in Mexico one misses out on so much of the life, color and flavor that make it so enchanting.



TOG


awcharro

Jan 23, 2003, 3:40 PM

Post #10 of 24 (5086 views)

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I did catch hepatitis A shortly after moving to Mexico......

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.....because I was not careful about what I ate from street vendors. I was eating fruit cocktails, drinking aguas (fruit flavored drinks) from the street vendors in Monterrey, thinking "If the Mexicans can consume them, I can too!". That was a big mistake! Many Mexican street vendors do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, which is one of the biggest causes of people contacting hepatitis A. I wound up having to go to a V.A. hospital in the States and stay in the States for two months before I was over the hepatitis. So, I don't think it would be a bad idea to get these shots. If you are a veteran, you may be able to get them at a V.A. clinic at little or no cost. I don't really know what the side effects of the shots are, but it seems like I've heard that they are not very serious. You might want to check with your physician on this.


(This post was edited by awcharro on Jan 23, 2003, 3:46 PM)


scott

Jan 29, 2003, 9:29 PM

Post #11 of 24 (4988 views)

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Re: [feesh] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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The thought of getting immunized has never even crossed my mind. Maybe I should think about it sometime.


keith

Jan 30, 2003, 9:19 AM

Post #12 of 24 (4970 views)

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Re: [scott] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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I survived Hep B (got it at the Baptist hospital in Managua, Nicarauga), Dengue (Venezuela), and Paludismo (malaria) in the Copper Canyon. My son got hep A there (didnīt seem like a big deal, a lot of the local kids had it at the time). None of us got innoculated, none of us take phrophylactic doses of anthing.


thigl

Feb 2, 2003, 9:03 PM

Post #13 of 24 (4930 views)

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Re: [keith] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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Great photo of divisedero!! When and where was it taken?


keith

Feb 3, 2003, 9:10 AM

Post #14 of 24 (4919 views)

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that photo

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It was taken last August. Itīs the Gallego overlook on the way to Urique (actually we were on our way out).


Mereja

Feb 5, 2003, 7:32 PM

Post #15 of 24 (4913 views)

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Re: [keith] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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A doctor told me that once someone has gotten Hep A they are a carrier and if the people close around him are not really careful, drink out of the same glass or etc. the other people are at a very high risk of getting it. Some kids may get over it very easy but they may pass it on to older people who have other health problems and then it can become life threatening and hard to treat.


Abq

Feb 9, 2003, 11:29 AM

Post #16 of 24 (4884 views)

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get the hep B vaccine

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I agree with you Uncle. A chat room is no place to play doctor, but the opinions stated on this board by some otherwise rational people could be dangerous. You should be imunized for the disease ASAP regardless of upcoming trip. Just because you or family members havn't contracted Hep B doesn't mean it won't happen. The disease is highly contagous.Keith was lucky, more then 15% of those who contract the Hep B will have it for life and remain carriers as well. The vacination cost about $150 (3 shots) and will protect you for life.


suzan

Feb 28, 2004, 9:45 AM

Post #17 of 24 (4757 views)

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Re: [Abq] get the hep B vaccine/HEPATITS A/B/C

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Greetings....I am new to these boards and this is my first post....but I MUST respond to this....

Hepatitis B is NOT the same as Hepatitis A.

HEPATITIS B: serum hepatitis, is primarily a BLOOD borne disease. High risk activities such as promiscuous sex, especially anal, and IV drug use are the primary concerns. Hospital workers and those in the health care field are in the high risk category. Reaction to the Hep B vaccine is relatively high. Info can be found at www.909shot.com The HEPATIS "B" shot is the vaccine they are currently peddling to US newborns who are not obviously sexually promiscuous, don't use IV drugs and are not yet hospital workers.

To say that Hepatitis B is highly contagious is both correct and incorrect with regard to the context to which you are referring. It is highly unlikely that you will get Hepatitis B from eating "street food". Virtually impossible. Nor will you get it from a family member through casual contact. It is a BLOOD borne disease (contaminated syringes, needles and transfused blood). Most Hep B infections go unrecognized but up to 5 percent of US citizens and up to 85% of gay men are infected with Hepatitis B. The ninth leading cause of death in the US, 10% of of case will become chronic and lead to scarring of the liver...increasing it's vulnerability to cancer.

It is Hepatitis A, known as infectious hepatitis, is the biggest concern when speaking of FOOD/WATER, ETC. risks.

HEPATITIS A: Easily spread through person to person contact and through contact with food, clothing, bed linen and other items. Natural immunity is acquired after one bout with this disease. FECES are infectious and this is one of the primary routes of transmission and infection with regard to food handling/consumption.

HEPATITIS C: In the US, Hep C accounts for 20 to 40% of all hepatitis contracted and 90 to 95% of all cases contracted through blood transfusions. Tests can now detect antibodies against Hep C in donated blood...BUT infected individuals may take up to SIX months to develop antibodies so it is still impossible to identify all infected blood. Hep C can also be contracted through IV drug use, sexual contact, and broken skin or mucous membranes.

All vaccines carry the risk of serious adverse reactions including lifelong injury and death. NEVER allow yourself to be poked without a thorough understanding of the vaccine you are allowing to be injected into your body and the disease with which it is associated. And NEVER allow a child or adult to be injected with more than one shot at a time. If a reaction does occur...at least you will know which one it was and will be better able to treat the reaction. The body is also better able to handle ONE "introduction" at a time of foreign material. If you choose to vaccinate there are ways to attempt to make it as "safe" as possible. Becoming as informed as possible is always the first step.

Suzan


elcoqui


Jul 14, 2004, 3:47 PM

Post #18 of 24 (4613 views)

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Re: [The Old Gringo] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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Can you get a Hep A shot in Mexico is for some reason is it recomended getting before coming to Mexico?


abq

Jul 18, 2004, 7:14 AM

Post #19 of 24 (4533 views)

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Re: [suzan] get the hep B vaccine/HEPATITS A/B/C

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I was referring to Hep B. A close family member contracted the disease when she went to an emergency room in a US hospital. Most think the only people who get Hep B from needles or sex. Believe me, this family member was not in that "high risk group"

Luckily she was one of the minority that "cleared" the disease.Not all are so fortunate.


Bubba

Jul 23, 2004, 1:45 PM

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Re: [feesh] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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We, who lived in Northern California for 30 years before moving here (Lake Chapala)three years ago, have had no immunizations of any kind except for Typhoid Fever for my wife. As for hepatitis shots, our doctors in San Francisco, France and Jocotepec, Jalisco, recommended that we forego that treatment as the risks outweighed the potential benefits. We don't know if they are right but may find out if we live long enough.

I have come down with salmonella twice although I had no symptoms, am unaware of whether I picked it up here or in France and only found out that I was infected through routine blood tests.

We do not, however, eat in roadside taco stands or other places with obvious sanitation problems. God has not made the taco that is worth that risk. I do not care to consume even microscopic amounts of other peoples excrement if I can help it.


ET

Jul 23, 2004, 5:43 PM

Post #21 of 24 (4430 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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Quote
"Bubba" writes:
....As for hepatitis shots, our doctors in San Francisco, France and Jocotepec, Jalisco, recommended that we forego that treatment as the risks outweighed the potential benefits.....

Ask your treating physician(s) to discuss with you what specific risks they are concerned about and pay very careful attention to their reply. If this has been the recommendation of multiple physicians you have something very noteworthy in your personal health profile which will influence other courses of treatments you may need. The consensus opinion amongst health care professionals is that for a very large segment of the population at large, including many immunocompromised individuals both the current Hepatitis B (recombinant) vaccines, as well as the Hepatitis A (inactivated) vaccines pose at worst very minimal health risks, so you've got something very interesting going on.


(This post was edited by ET on Jul 23, 2004, 8:23 PM)


Bubba

Jul 24, 2004, 12:04 PM

Post #22 of 24 (4384 views)

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Re: [ET] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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ET:

First, let me thank Suzan for her remarks regarding various forms of hepatitis and immunization options.

Secondly, there is absolutely nothing noteworthy in my health profile that would cause my doctors to warn me specifically against these immunizations. These were general inquiries during routine health examinations I passed for some reason. I also lie to my doctors about any bad habits so that is not an issue.

I was responding to the inquiry addressed on the thread which was has anyone NOT been immunized.

Perhaps you can enlighten me on this subject. I am simply relating my experience and know very little about hepatitis which I hope remains the case for the rest of my time on this planet. Here, more specifically, is our experience.

My wife grew up in France where, she tells me, hepatitis vaccinations used to be mandatory but were subsequently not required because the health authorities felt there were risks that outweighed the benefits. Of course, the French health authorities also covered up the AIDS contamination of a few years ago.

We asked our personal physician in the Napa Valley in Northern California if we should get these vaccinations because we were moving to Mexico. He expressed reservations about the need for this procedure. Of course, once he realized we were leaving his territory he may have simply lost interest in us as U.S. doctors these days try to limit office visits to three minutes and his contemplating our inquiry in depth may have delayed the next patient and reduced critical cash flow.

Finally, our present family physician, who seems to be a respected doctor in Jocotepec, encouraged us to forego this treatment because of unspecified complications that might arise from said treatment.

None of our inquiries ever resulted in our being informed of the specific problems associated with these vaccinations and we never pushed for statistical bases for our decision since we always wished to get out of the doctor's office before the old "three days to live" thing comes up. As an ignorant lay person, I surmize that the range of negatives could go from turning green to liver failure. Please tell us, in the authoritative manner you normally employ on this forum, that we are mistaken and if we are convinced we will rush off for our hepatitis shots manana.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jul 24, 2004, 12:31 PM)


ET

Jul 27, 2004, 12:38 AM

Post #23 of 24 (4316 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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So in reality, rather than three different sets of doctors in different countries recommending against the vaccinations because "the risks outweighed the potential benefits" (your words) that you originally claimed, you at best have one, your current treater who you indicate is discouraging you because of unspecified complications. I'd recommend that you ask this physician point blank just what are the complications that they're concerned about.

Besides the obvious reasons why you're a waste of vaccine, from the public health standpoint in the case of the Hepatitis B vaccine the doses of vaccine that you'd use could be better applied to protecting an infant, child, youth, or young adult who (a) has more of a future at risk, (b) poses a greater burden to health care resources if they were to contract Hepatitis B, and (c) poses a greater risk of spreading the Hepatitis B virus if they were to become infected with it. None of these factors translates to the Hepatitis B vaccine posing particular risks which could outweigh the benefits, but rather that other recipients may benefit more from the same doses of vaccine than you might.

On the remote chance that you're serious about educating yourself about the various forms of Hepatitis, some of which are preventable by vaccination, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Infectious Diseases has an excellent compilation of information which can be found here. I'll also attach copies of the current physician's information sheets from one of the two manufacturers )Merck) of the Hepatitis A and B vaccines in the US to this message.
Attachments: recombivax_pi.pdf (92.9 KB)
  vaqta_pi.pdf (77.9 KB)


Bubba

Jul 27, 2004, 8:10 AM

Post #24 of 24 (4300 views)

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Re: [ET] Does anyone NOT get immunized?

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Gee, ET:

As one who admires the perfectly delivered insult, I congratulate you. I have been called a lot of things, but "a waste of vaccine" is near the top. Many would say I am also a waste of good tequila and Cheese Whoppers. I refuse, however, to be a waste of roadside prepared tacos so maybe I can forego the vaccines for which I would be a waste.
 
 
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