Nuts & Bolts - Health Precautions

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As a healthy individual, health insurance seems like a bit of a scam, but Julie is far too sensible to let us undertake this trip without plenty of health insurance and loads of vaccinations. I was surprised at how expensive all this was, particularly the malaria tablets.


For those of you planning a trip like this, here is what we considered a comfortable amount of coverage with the fewest necessary jabs. The Center for Disease Control is an helpful resource for anyone traveling to 'exotic' destinations. Check with your county health facility for vaccinations -- they usually provide shots at a reasonable price, much cheaper than a private clinic.

The Shot:
The Cost
You know the shot
didn't work if.....
Hepatitis A(2 required)
$45 each
fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea, and abdominal discomfort, followed within a few days by jaundice
Hepatitis B(3 required)
$35 each
anorexia, abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting, and often progresses to jaundice
a sustained fever as high as 103 to 104 F feel weak, or have stomach pains, headache, or loss of appetite a rash of flat, rose-colored spots
including acute flaccid paralysis of a single limb to quadriplegia; respiratory failure

Health Insurance

We purchased a travel health insurance plan with emergency evacuation coverage through We've heard that short doctor visits in most countries are cheap, so we'll probably pay out of pocket in thoses cases since the insurance deductible is a bit high.


I received a rude awakening one day at the Walgreens pharmacy counter as the clerk said, "that's going to be around a $1000, are you sure you want that much?" Ummmm... Upon further research, we've decided to purchase the first two months of Doxycycline malarial pills, take them only where it's absolutely necessary, and buy more along the way. We've since found that the same pills (different manufacturer) are a fraction of the cost in Asia. Compare $.75 per pill (US) to $.05 per pill (Asia) and you'll come to the same conclusion as us -- buy them along the way. For reliable information on malaria and high-risk areas, visit the CDC's disease section.

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