Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Travel to Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador- Oh My!

Greetings Friends,

I have learned the following about travel to these countries in South America:

  1. If you are not going to the jungle areas you do not have to get the Yellow Fever shot. You can check the CDC website at to see what is recommended. I learned today that although it is not required it is highly recommended to get it since it takes only one mosquito bite to make you seriously ill or possibly kill you. I am getting this Thursday.
  2. If you are traveling in rural areas they recommend the Typhoid vaccination. According to the CDC here is a description: "The hallmark of typhoid infection is persistent, high fevers. Other common symptoms and signs include headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, and relative bradycardia. Many mild and atypical infections occur." All I have to say is give me that shot too!
  3. Lastly I have learned that Malaria sucks as well according to the CDC. "Malaria is a serious disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Symptoms may include fever and flu-like illness, including chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice. Plasmodium falciparum infections, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, coma, and death." Give me the pills too! I don't care if one of the side effects are hallucinations! It beats possible death.
So that is the list of threats from the CDC. The other thing that I have learned is that Bolivia is a pretty dicey country. Here is a warning from the Lonley Planet website for La Paz:

Brutal Kidnappings

A violent scam operating out of the Cemetario area of La Paz works via gang members posing as policemen who ask travellers to accompany them to a fake police station. The tourists are then relieved of credit cards and pin numbers and held indefinitely while their bank accounts are emptied. Unfortunately the escalation of this crime has recently resulted in the deaths of several backpackers. Travellers are warned to use caution if approached by police officers, to ask for ID and where possible ask for further police presence.

I think I will plan on avoiding this area. If anyone has info on where I should avoid please send them. Stories of Sparky getting robbed, sodomized, or pimp slapped are not good.

Hmmmmm....This reminds me of my old Navy days! Nothing like traveling to third world countries to remind you how great that we have it in the USA!!! When was the last time you had to get a vaccination to protect you from a life threatening illness to travel to Orange County?


BTW....the dentist gave me a clean bill of health for my trip but I get to have three wisdom teeth removed when I return. I am not looking forward to that!

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