An important step, as unpleasant as it is essential if you decide to travel and especially with children, is the vaccination.
At the Erasmus Travel Clinic in Anderlecht, Bert makes his first appointment as a guinea pig … The doctor will take a look at our itinerary and will explain which vaccine is important in which regions.
[spacer height = “20px”] The vaccines we will receive are: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, rabies, Japanese encephalitis and tetanus/diphtheria.
[spacer height = “20px”] Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, transmitted by food, drink or objects contaminated with feces.
Hepatitis A is a contagious infection of the liver, transmitted by food, drink or objects contaminated with feces. The infection causes fever, nausea and fatigue. In most cases it is a small infection, lasting for a couple of weeks, but in some cases the disease can last for several months. Something you would rather not encounter on a trip in a distant country.
[spacer height = “20px”] Hepatitis B is transmitted by infected blood and saliva. This infection also affects the liver and causes nausea, fatigue and fever. However, chronic Hepatitis B can lead to liver failure. Since 1999, vaccination against Hepatitis B has been an integral part of infant vaccinations and vaccination of 12-year-olds.
[spacer height = “20px”] Then there is also the Tetanus/Diphtheria combi vaccine, which only Bert and I will take, especially because we are not sure if we have ever received the repeat vaccination. The tetanus bacterium spreads a very powerful toxin that causes painful muscle cramps and can cause the lungs and the heart to cramp. Diphtheria, or the croup is an infectious disease that causes swelling and can cause respiratory problems. The toxins spread by this the bacteria can cause damage to the heart muscle or nervous system.
Rabies, this deadly disease is common in tropical countries, given the large number of stray dogs, cats and monkeys.
[spacer height = “20px”] Rabies, this deadly disease is common in tropical countries, given the large number of stray dogs, cats and monkeys. It is advised not to approach these animals and certainly not to pet them. Here we do not doubt and we go for 3 injections, spread over 3 weeks.
[spacer height = “20px”] Finally, we chose to change our itinerary and go directly from Sri Lanka to Thailand to be vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis. We will go to an American hospital that administers this vaccine at an accessible price. Here in Belgium, the vaccine would cost around € 160 per dose per person. A small capital. In Thailand, the vaccine costs € 20, because it is widely administered. In addition, it is also better attuned to the situation of tropical regions.
[spacer height = “20px”] Malaria, the ancient traveler’s disease, is an infectious disease that has existed for centuries, but still poses a great risk for travelers to hot/humid regions. The disease is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. The classic symptoms of malaria resemble those of flu; headache and muscle pain. By intervening early, this disease can be dealt with fairly easily, without risk of relapse.
Previously, travelers were advised to take a dose of malaria pills before, during and after the trip to tropical countries. But the common side effects (behavioral disorders, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, …) do not encourage us to follow this treatment. Doctors nowadays are moving away from this heavy medication and prescribe an emergency treatment. This is based on prevention (mosquito repellent, long pants, mosquito net, …) and if there is a suspicion of infection, a dose of medication must be taken ant the patient has to be examined in a hospital within 48 hours.
We will have to be very vigilant for the symptoms, especially with Emile, who may have more trouble naming the symptoms.
[spacer height = “20px”] Simon and Robin, 10 and 7 years old, don’t ask to much questions about getting all those injections. Emile has more trouble and cries out every time he sees someone in a white jacket. Finally it is mainly us, the adults, who suffer from muscle pain in the upper arm, the days that follow.
Up to three times we have to go to the hospital for the recall vaccines in a family context. For the last vaccination, I have to pass … I’ve just got a flu that has kept me in bed for 4 days, a legacy of the little Emile who also had the flu for 10 days, type A. As long as I have a fever, I do not get my last two recall vaccines Trivix and Rabipur. The timing is fortunately less strict because it is a recall and a few days later I’m also fully equipped with medication and antibodies.