Thursday 12 May 2016

Health - inoculations, mosquito & midge repellents and after care, health in general


Due to sailing in Malaria zones and visiting the Eastern side of Indonesia the following inoculations where advised by the rally organizers. We had all but one of the advised inoculations because at the time of travelling we didn't need the Cholera injection.

Its not a cheap exercise, especially the Japanese Encephalitis, but did feel worth the investment for our health.
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (all given as one injection)
  • Hepatitis A (2 doses, 6 months apart)
  • Hepatitis B (3 doses: 1st as appropriate, 2nd 1 month later, 3rd  6 months after the 1st dose)
  • Polio
  • Cholera (our doctor said these are not necessary at the time of travelling)
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies (3 doses: 1st as appropriate, 2nd 7 days, 3rd 21-28 days after the 1st dose. A booster in 1 year is recommended) 
  • Japanese Encephalitis
We also had our Influenza jabs for good measure.

All the injections where given in the arms and most of them we had at the same time with no ill effects for us. Your doctor will know your personal medical situation and will advise as needed.

We would advise you to have these injections as soon as you can. Don't leave having them close to your departure date as some are given over a lengthy period of time.

*** March 2017 upon reflection, we are not convinced we would of had all the injections. Quite a few of the rally fleet did not do what we did. No body got sick beyond believe that needed to be medivac'd out. Most of the circumnavigators did not get any injections.


Both of these little critters eat Deb alive. We have read a lot of data regarding them in Indonesia and it seems to be no worse or better than in Australia. They seem to be more prevalent near mangroves and any vegetation close to the waters edge. The worry of course is the Malaria carrying mosquito. The data on Malaria is worth reading and we read the CDC Malaria website and the Living In Indonesia website. The information is extensive so i will let you read it to inform yourself.

Like most things in life prevention is crucial. The bites are often silent - you actually don't know you are being bitten straight away, its not until a few days later when the welts and the itching starts you realize you have been eaten and then you need some after care.

For prevention we have tried to make Matilda as insect proof as we can. So we have very good hatch screens, companionway screens and screens that we made for our dorade vents. While inside we burn up to 4 mozzie coils (we find the Earth Tiger ones good) and we have 2 x 12 volt burners.

Both of these insects mainly come out at dawn and seem to mass at dusk, so obviously we try to avoid these times of the day. If we must be out at these times, its socks, long pants, long sleeve tops and lots of repellent. We have also read that some people even wear their Stinger Suits. Taking Vitamin B/Thiamine everyday in tablet form is also meant to assist by sweating out an odor that the mozzies don't like.

The repellents we use are: Bushman's which has the DEET product in it. DEET can have some nasty side effects so best to be informed here at Wikipedia. We also carry a spray bottle with dettol and baby oil mixed together. The mix varies from person to person. Some use 50/50 and some use 1 part dettol to 8 parts baby oil. We have even heard some people add a splash of metho, but we don't.

For after care in attempt to sooth the itching, there are many things you can use. The best thing is to try them all and see what works for you. These are some that Deb has tried. White vinegar dabbed on neat, rolling on some MUM deodorant (has to be the mauve one),  Hemorrhoid cream eg. Rectinol, Eurax cream (from the chemist), Ice (if you don't have ice use a couple of face washers in the fridge and rotate them), pressing a very hot spoon directly on to the bite gives instant relief, Stingose, White Flower (bought from an Asian Grocer), Tiger Balm dabbed on, Eumovate Cream (from the chemist), Biteaway, Lavender, Tea Tree Oil,  Ammonia dabbed on, The Locals Cream, 4 Way Cream, Lucas Paw Paw gel, Ya Mate, Coconut oil and a good old scrub in salt water.

  • While in Asia we know to not drink tap water. This includes no ice in drinks.
  • If you obtain a scratch from coral, wash the area thoroughly and apply antibacterial cream immediately and watch the area for infection.
  • Be careful when ordering seafood
  • Only drink sealed bottled water
  • If you are bitten or scratched by a monkey, dog or any other animal wash the area immediately and apply a antibacterial cream and see a doctor as soon as you can - rabies is everywhere here.

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