So we finally finished all of the inoculations needed for Zimbabwe! Besides all the basics like chickenpox, measles, and the like, we had to get our bases covered from the more exotic diseases like Typhoid, Malaria, and HepA. Typhoid is an immunization, and you just take 4 pills 6 weeks prior to your departure. But at $100, is is not cheap! But I suppose that is a small price to pay to not lose your hair from the high fever, and to keep paranoid psychosis at bay. Let’s keep the crazy to a minimum, shall we?
And not be outdone by typhoid complications, we had quite the decision in dealing with Malaria. There isn’t a vaccination for Malaria- you preemptively take medication to prevent the parasite from making further inroads in your body if you are exposed to a mosquito that has been infected. There are 2 basic drugs to choose from: Malarone and Lariam. Malarone you take every day, but Lariam you only take once a week. Easy choice, right? Except that Lariam has been subject to additional scrutiny over the past few years. Some of the adverse effects were so extreme and so egregious, the FDA was moved to put a black box warning on it July 2013. So with all the scary “persecutory delusions” and “mental delirium” talk, we’ve decided to be a little inconvenienced with a daily pill to ensure we keep our (relative) wits about us.
Interestingly, John had done the research on malaria medications, and I’m so glad he did! I would’ve just taken anything the doctor gave us. Lesson: any medicine you are prescribed (no matter how benign), do your research!