Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Across the pond
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We live in Madagascar (inland) so some of your questions are pertinent to us as well.
There is no malaria in inland madagascar but there is on the coast. When we visit the coast, we do NOT take the preventative stuff (I wouldn't be able to give it to the baby anyway and I'm breastfeeding so don't want to take it myself). We do be careful in the evening between 5 and 7 PM - stay indoors, long sleeves and pant legs if we are outdoors, and citronella repellent on clothes and skin (even on baby). Malaria is entirely treatable. Just make sure that AS SOON AS your boy says he is not feeling well or has any fever at all, you get him to a dispensary for testing ASAP. The test is routine,the answer is immediate, the treatment is quick and the malaria goes away immediately as long as you treat it right away.
For the typhoid vaccine - typhoid is a treatable disease. You take antibiotics and it goes away. You do not get it from other people. You get it from contaminated food - it's a form of salmonella poisoning. If you will be eating at hotels or at friends' places, you are probably fine without the vaccine. The only reason to get the vaccine is that typhoid, though treatable, is pretty awful to have. It can be pretty violent (though not fatal) for children. Mind you, with the vaccine, you sometimes get a "mini-typhoid" which is also not so pleasant, so if you can avoid the vaccine on the grounds that you won't be eating in any unhygenic places, you are going to be careful about what you eat (no raw eggs or meat, don't eat food on the streets), and it's a treatable disease, great.
I'm not sure that yellow fever is treatable. You need to look that one up. The vaccine is not required here so we never got it. I have a feeling that it might not be and I think the disease is carried by mosquitos (although maybe I'm confusing it with dengue fever). Plus check whether the US will let you back in the country if you have been Africa without having been vaccinated for yellow fever.
Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).