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Old 06-11-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
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Hi there,

Thinking about taking a trip to Eastern Europe this summer (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia etc) and was wondering about vaccines. Are there any required or recommended vaccinations? I know some people from Poland, and they just thought that I was silly, worrying about this, but still I'm not sure. Do anyone have any experience about this?
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Old 06-11-2006, 01:31 PM   #2
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I didnt recieve any vaccinations..Atchoum is probably writing exactly the same thing as i type this.

However i would be careful if you were going during the summer months and camping or walking in any forests as there are a lot of gnats around during this time.

Be careful if you head into Eastern Europe (i.e Belarus, Georgia etc) of the drinking water
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Old 06-11-2006, 01:37 PM   #3
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There are no vaccine requirements, but I there are some risks that can be avoided with vaccines.

"These recommendations are mainly based on risk estimates according to national incidences and prevalences of vaccine-preventable diseases such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid fever, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, and tick-borne encephalitis." (out of http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract)

About what Beergal said, I didn't dare drinking water anywhere (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria), but Beergal is from UK and I from Canada. I unfortunately ate cherries in Bulgaria that had been soaking in water, and was siiiiiiiiick for the next 24 hours. With water, one is never too careful ! Don't drink anything with ice cubes either.

By the way, Eastern Europe is fantastic !
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:09 PM   #4
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Best thing to do is ask your doctor. When I went he recommended I have Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies and Tick Borne Encephalitis for Eastern Europe (this was on top of what we're given as children in the UK anyway). I took the free ones (Hep A and Typhoid) and didn't bother with the rest.
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:22 PM   #5
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I think that you'll be absolutely fine without them. My brother lives in moscow and he didn't bother with any vaccines, and neither have i when i visited him......and he happily drinks the water over there as well, despite all the locals warning him not to......
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Old 06-11-2006, 03:49 PM   #6
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Its always a good idea to get Typhoid and Hep A if your going to a developing country. If your going to get Hep A, you might as well get Hep B. Hep A and Typhoid are food/water borne generally, so really anywhere you travel where you suspect food handling may not be particularly hygenic, you could be at risk. Hell, people in the U.S. get Hep A from restaurants every year so its a good idea to get Hep A period.
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Old 06-11-2006, 10:37 PM   #7
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Def ask your doctor, but we didn't get any before we moved to Lithuania where we lived for two years. They did suggest the tick-borne encephalitis one for the kids, but since we spent most of our time in the city we didn't bother. We traveled a fair bit throughout eastern Europe and never worried about drinking the local water or getting shots, and survived just fine. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia... The only place I got sick on our 6 week summer backpacking trip was after eating at a fancy tourist restaurant in Salzburg, Austria - I think it was the soup, cause my daughter got sick too, and that was the only thing we only the two of us ate. So there you go, you never know...

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Old 06-12-2006, 08:10 AM   #8
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You'l be fine, Eastern Europe is still within the EU and as such are required to maintian European standards so if your not afraid of picking up something in Itally you don't really need to worry about Eastern Europe. Thats the way I see it anyway.
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:24 PM   #9
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First of all I want to thank you all for your answers - it is fantastic that one can just write a question about almost everything when it comes to travelling and get almost immediate reply from experienced backpackers. I'm sure there are a lot of people who appreciate this, so just keep up the excellent work!

I called my doctor today and he said that he recommend me to take Hep A vaccination. It is quite expensive, so is it worth it? How high are the risks that you can get serious diseases? Is it only to avoid particular food and drinks and so on? Well, i'm kind of an hypocondric person so maybe it is better to receive vaccinations.

And again, thank you for your help.
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:35 PM   #10
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Hmmmm, if you're a hypocondriac and have the money, go for the vaccine !

I don't know about the risks, sorry. I spent six weeks in Eastern Europe, went in the countryside and in cities, ate and drank with locals and in tourist restaurants, went on the beach, and I'm still Hep A free... If your doctor only suggested it, this means risks are low, otherwise, the vaccine would be mandatory.
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:35 PM   #11
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Ditto atchoum - we lived there for two years, traveling all over, visiting the little villages with no indoor plumbing, eating delicious local food, NO health problems. Just take sensible precautions - if you wouldn't eat skanky meat at home, don't eat it abroad!

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Old 06-12-2006, 11:55 PM   #12
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Hi,

I'm a medical student in Canada, so can chime in my 2 cents (but of course, your doctor is better!). With that said, I don't have travel experience in Europe (I leave in 8 days for a 2 month trip ) so I can't comment about conditions or risk.

Hepatitis A is a viral disease affecting your liver. It's transmitted through the fecal-oral route, and runs an acute course (vs. Hep B and Hep C that can become chronic, Hep A only very rarely does). Incubation period is about 28 days, and you're looking at fever, diarrhea, N&V, malaise, sore muscles, etc.
Symptoms tend to last a few weeks, and there's not much in terms of medication that physicians can give you.

In the end, I'd probably recommend the Hep A & Typhoid both. Why not vaccinate yourself against diseases, even if they're largely preventable.. and you're an avid traveller, so bang for your buck! Think of it like insurance... pay a little bit to prevent illness!
But still avoid drinking the water in far eastern countries! (and hope to try and avoid traveller's diarrhea and the like.. which is self limiting btw!)

(Hep B by the way is mainly an STD, and Hep C is blood borne transmission)
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