Shots, shots, shots!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

For those of you who are pop culturally literate - no, the title of this post is not referencing the LMFAO song, but rather all the immunizations I had to get to travel to West Africa! I leave in 14 days - March 10th. I think it goes without saying that traveling to Africa is more of an adventure than Europe. I'm not really sure what some of the diseases are that I had to be immunized against and I don't really want to know.

  • yellow fever
  • hepatitis A
  • typhoid
  • hepatitis B
  • rabies
  • meningitis
  • polio
All of Ghana is a risk for contracting malaria from mosquitos so I have to take antimalarial pills before, during, and after the trip. Additionally, I have to treat my clothing with permethrin (it's like deet on steroids!! and kills cats and fish!) and use 30-50% Deet on my skin. We are staying at hotels with air conditioning (thank God! it's going to be like 100 degrees in Ghana) so we don't need to sleep under mosquito nets. I know a fellow IU student who studied in Ghana last semester...and I thought moving to Eastern Europe was kind of crazy!

Other fun diseases that can be contracted in Africa: dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis. Basically, don't drink the water, only eat cooked foods, don't go into bodies of water, don't get bit by a dog, bathe in Deet, and have anti-diarrheal medications on hand. After the initial consultation with the IU travel clinic I think most of the class was wondering what exactly we have gotten ourselves into :)


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