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TimL

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Manila (October 9, 2019)

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Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Manila (October 9, 2019)

 

Location: Philippines

 

Event: Health officials have reported an outbreak of polio in the Philippines.


Actions to Take:

 

  • The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the Philippines be fully vaccinated against polio.
  • Before traveling to the Philippines, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine.
  • Read the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) Polio in the Philippines webpage:  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/polio-philippines.   

Assistance:

·        U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
+63 (2) 5301-2000

·         ACSInfoManila@state.gov

·         State Department – Consular Affairs 
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

·         Philippines Country Information

·         Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

·         Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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Serious question here regarding vaccines and boosters in PH:

Do you trust the medical system here to know what the hell it is doing?  Since living here, I have seen and read a lot of things that make me skeptical of letting any doctor near me with a needle.  Not trying to sound alarmist.  I read about people getting sick from the very vaccines they take, have seen animals die from mandatory innoculations.  Stories about whether the flu vaccines given are for the correct strain, etc.  Clinical conditions that seem sketchy to my eyes, etc.  I recognized this issue as a risk to eventually come to terms with before moving here, so please give me the Expat $.02 on this topic.

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37 minutes ago, Marvin Boggs said:

Not trying to sound alarmist.  I read about people getting sick from the very vaccines they take, have seen animals die from mandatory innoculations.  Stories about whether the flu vaccines given are for the correct strain, etc.

First off....if you read it on the internet, take it with a modicum of salt - especially with inoculations.

I was advised years ago to get the "adult polio booster" at The Tropical Medical Center at University of Washington - one of the best such clinics in the country. It was a shock to me that I needed that because I was told as a teenager that drinking that small cup of pink liquid was all I needed for life. If you have not already done so, try reading the topic about Polio in the Davao River, it might give you more info...

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I read that topic, not sure what to make of this:  It seems more people have contracted polio from the vaccine than in the wild.  The cases in New Guinea and China were Chinese vaccines, or?  Now add to that the Dengvaxia scandal.  Now add to that mandatory rabies shots going around the barangays that end up killing the dogs or giving them nerve damage (1st hand knowledge of this one).  

I'm just posing the question.  Assuming you think a polio booster is the right thing to do (or flu vaccine, etc.), then how much trust have you expats placed in the local medical system?     

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Get it or don’t I guess is up to the individual but, the part that I find worrying is:

If you will be in the Philippines for more than 4 weeks, the Philippine government may require you to show proof of polio vaccination before you leave the country. To meet this requirement, you should get the polio vaccine between 4 weeks and 12 months before you leave the Philippines. Talk to your doctor about whether this requirement applies to you.

That would indicate that they could keep you from leaving if you don’t have proof that you got it. 

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2 hours ago, Marvin Boggs said:

I read that topic, not sure what to make of this:  It seems more people have contracted polio from the vaccine than in the wild.  The cases in New Guinea and China were Chinese vaccines, or?  Now add to that the Dengvaxia scandal.  Now add to that mandatory rabies shots going around the barangays that end up killing the dogs or giving them nerve damage (1st hand knowledge of this one).  

I'm just posing the question.  Assuming you think a polio booster is the right thing to do (or flu vaccine, etc.), then how much trust have you expats placed in the local medical system?     

Agreed Marvin. I’m not sure just how much faith I have in the medical system when it comes to a disease of that magnitude. 
Sorry Sir comes to mind. :shock_40_anim_gif:

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31 minutes ago, TimL said:

If you will be in the Philippines for more than 4 weeks, the Philippine government may require you to show proof of polio vaccination before you leave the country.

Hi Tim... Could you tell me the source of this information? The reason I ask is because that has not happened to me in the 3+ years I have been here with a few comings and goings... I don't doubt you - perhaps this is a new requirement? I do know that they took chest x-rays of me when I was applying for my SRRV and TB is something they look for. But that has nothing to do with polio or exiting either...

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3 hours ago, Marvin Boggs said:

I read that topic, not sure what to make of this:  It seems more people have contracted polio from the vaccine than in the wild.  The cases in New Guinea and China were Chinese vaccines, or?  Now add to that the Dengvaxia scandal.  Now add to that mandatory rabies shots going around the barangays that end up killing the dogs or giving them nerve damage (1st hand knowledge of this one).  

I'm just posing the question.  Assuming you think a polio booster is the right thing to do (or flu vaccine, etc.), then how much trust have you expats placed in the local medical system?     

I hear you, Marvin... I guess my choice was easy because I was in the Land of the Big Smoke when notified about that polio booster.

But let me relate this to you... Earlier this year I had to go to Manila for a few days. While there, I visited St. Lukes Medical Center (Bonafacio) to see about getting a tetanus booster since it has been over 10 years since my last one. I was referred to a pediatrician (not because I look young, but because she was the one who always had those boosters available for little kids). We talked a while and she suggested that maybe I didn't need one. I told her that actually I did want one because I play in the dirt (gardening) and tend to cut myself doing projects - then she agreed and gave me the shot. Yow! No, the injection didn't hurt much, but it cost me P5,000. I don't know if that was the "foreigner price" or not, but my health is important to me. I am convinced she knew what she was doing medically and gave me the right stuff.

What I should have said when I first wrote this out was that I meant that there are some quality health care hospitals and some great doctors here in the Philippines - mainly in Manila. I can't say about Cebu, but here in Davao there is at least one hospital with state of the art equipment and doctors who do cutting edge procedures - my dermatologist for one and my oral surgeon/dentist for another. They aren't cheap, but cheaper than USA. And they are good - they lecture on their specialties in USA, Europe and other places. So I would not discount all medical services here. Maybe some of the problems you read about are through the public health system? Even in USA there are some doubts about the efficacy of treatments there - however meds seem to be okay...

But... I had a so-called dentist ruin one of my teeth on a botched root canal 10 years ago - cost me a fortune to get it all fixed. And another so-called dentist here in Davao who did successfully do a crown, but caused me the most pain I have ever experienced in a dentist chair... Caveat emptor!

Perhaps, if you agree that you should get some boosters, maybe you could get them on a trip to another more developed country like Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia, USA? Not trying to push this on you, just offering some thoughts for your consideration... You must do what you feel comfortable with...

Edited by Tommy T.
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42 minutes ago, Tommy T. said:

Hi Tim... Could you tell me the source of this information? The reason I ask is because that has not happened to me in the 3+ years I have been here with a few comings and goings... I don't doubt you - perhaps this is a new requirement? I do know that they took chest x-rays of me when I was applying for my SRRV and TB is something they look for. But that has nothing to do with polio or exiting either...

It was the link in my original post. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/polio-philippines

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1 hour ago, TimL said:

Sorry Sir comes to mind. :shock_40_anim_gif:

EXACTLY*

I think the 'pulse' here is kind of what I was thinking too; namely, to get care of this type done in Manila or international location, or at least in a local situation that has proven itself to you.  The thing I run into in PH frequently as I've alluded to elsewhere is, professionals who ought to have the right training, tools, or experience, but just don't.  Or even worse, little communication or cultural hiccups that result in me getting the wrong information.  This just happened yesterday with my electrician; God help me if it happened with my physician!  

That said, we have only just started asking around for Dr. recommendations.  I'm just at the age where the annual prostate checks are recommended (51 years young), wife is only just getting to the age where the annual girlie checks are recommended.  We have found a very professional and qualified Dental Dr., and have a good recommendation from her on a physician.  So we'll see.  

*If this vaccine booster thing is a real requirement for travel, I will need to figure it out pronto.  

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