We’re taking WebMD to the next level and going for a deep dive into nightmares of the internet. Dreaming of the worst ways we can lose our liver and our lunch. When I contacted my doctor, he referred me to counseling to assess my life choices. The following is a list of ways you should consider shielding yourself with shots and pills you can pack that won’t constitute contraband that could land you in Zambian prison (so will using profanity in public, so check yourself when you swat that damn mosquito). Dammit. Here is our list of recommended vaccines:
Hepatitis A – Plan on eating or drinking water, or shaking hands? Do damage to your liver at the checkpoint parties. Kill it with kindness and umqombothi. Save that liver from disease with a Hep A vaccine.
Hepatitis B – Unless you plan on many a romp, getting a Put Foot tattoo in the back of a pool hall or piercing your navel, you should be okay skipping the Hepatitis B shot. On the other hand, if you are in for a wild ride of this ilk, protect yourself.
Malaria – A mosquito is a pest, but this illness could sneak up on you as a pesky reminder of your foolishness. Symptoms can take 7 days to next year’s rally to rear their flu-ish head. You’ll need a prescription and to start popping pills in advance. Or just dip your clothes in repellent and keep the windows down, because no one can stand that smell. No one.
Typhoid – This is another curse hiding in food and water. The CDC strongly recommends this vaccine “especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.” You must be a real black sheep or have slept with your friend’s sister. Eat your enemies for brunch and get this one to be safe.
Cholera – Providing shoes to school children and treating cholera patients? You are a better man than I. If you plan to avoid wiping sweat from foreheads in cholera clinics you should be fine, but pack some extra Imodium just in case.
Rabies – The CDC recommends this one for anyone who will be camping, on an adventure, or is a child. We match all these descriptors, but may still skip it, because our tiny, baby brains.
Yellow Fever – You won’t get Yellow Fever here, but the areas that list it REQUIRE a vaccine if you are coming from a country at risk of yellow fever. Here is a list of said countries. Don’t let them repel you like a pest back to your homeland.
“If you ever think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”
– Dalai Lama