Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I read on the back door of the bathroom today

From Zuperfliegen

First of all, I should let you know I did not read this at home. We don't have anything posted on our bathroom door - front or back side. Not very creative people, I guess.

Rather, I read this at the doctor's office. It was a poster listing what I assumed was every conceivable country to which one might wish to travel along with a list of vaccines that would be recommended prior to visiting. Because I was there with Zupe and I couldn't fit him (and his stroller) IN the bathroom, I left the door cracked open so I could see who would steal a baby on oxygen. After all, I'm legally responsible for that oxygen canister. Therefore, I didn't read EVERY country's recommendations - only the USA.

And what, pray tell, do those in the know recommend??

Hepatitis B - a viral disease that causes... wait for it.... hepatitis.

From Wikipedia:
Originally known as "serum hepatitis",[1] the disease has caused epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is endemic in China.[2] About a quarter of the world's population, more than 2 billion people, have been infected with the hepatitis B virus.[3] This includes 350 million chronic carriers of the virus.[4] Transmission of hepatitis B virus results from exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, while viral DNA has been detected in the saliva, tears, and urine of chronic carriers with high titer DNA in serum. Perinatal infection is a major route of infection in endemic (mainly developing) countries.[5] Other risk factors for developing HBV infection include working in a health care setting, transfusions, and dialysis, acupuncture, tattooing, extended overseas travel and residence in an institution. [6] [3][7] However, Hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by casual contact, such as holding hands, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, breast-feeding, kissing, hugging, coughing, or sneezing.[8]

So, lets consider what this is saying. Visitors to the United States need to protect themselves from Hep B because they are likely to be into forced contact with bodily fluids from US carriers - either due to sexual contact, wiping tears, attending a special tourist transfusion or dialysis park, or possibly from all the dirty used needles we have lying about. (Thank God hugging is ruled out as a means of transmission! Whew!)

Oh, and there's a second vaccine that's recommended.


Or, rather, RABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It all makes the US sound absurdly dangerous! Now, truth be told, I HAVE BEEN vaccinated for rabies - but how many people in the US are actually exposed to rabies each year? And, what proportion of them are just visiting the country?? And, what sort of tour do you have to book to risk that exposure? Does it cost extra? or is it more of the "no frills" sort of expedition?

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