One fever is more than enough fevers for us
November 13, 2009 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Indian health concerns: typhoid fever and dengue fever. Yes, you are not my doc.

So, the short of it is: I am heading to new Delhi late tomorrow. My girlfriend, who I'm visiting, got dengue fever three days ago. She's feeling a bit better, but, obviously, better relative to the f'ing dengue fever.

Problem #2 I took three of the four pills (live vaccine) for typhoid fever, and was going to take the last tomorrow, on the schedule. And realized ten minutes ago, on this cross-coast bus, that I had left that little box in my office.


dengue is spread by 'blood products' while she's still feverish. What does this mean in kissy terms.

Next: how screwed am I with my 75% vaccination against a quite serious illness? And can I grab another dose in a cvs tomorrow? Cost would obviously be thought of relative to hospital stay / death (jk, I'll never die)

Finally, any departing words of advice for a first-time Indian visiting his so abroad?
posted by tmcw to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have time to get to a travel medicine clinic before you go? This page implies that your three doses of typhoid vaccine may provide partial protection, but even with all four doses only 50-80% of people end up with effective protection. As to dengue, as it sounds like you already know, there have been cases where it has been spread through blood transfusions or organ transplants, but it really is not thought of as a sexually transmitted disease - of course you can't be sure but it seems like a pretty low risk situation (IANAD).
posted by lakeroon at 7:50 PM on November 13, 2009

Oh boy, I'll try. I have from when I wake up to 9:00pm tomorrow and typhoid is looking pretty scary right now.
posted by tmcw at 8:38 PM on November 13, 2009

My advice is to not worry about either. You can't get dengue from your SO and typhoid is perfectly treatable on the off chance you actually catch it.

Have fun. I spent two months there earlier this year. And giving you advice would take the fun out of it :)
posted by MillMan at 10:51 PM on November 13, 2009

Seconding lakeroon's suggestion to go to a travel medicine clinic. The travel medicine doctors and NPs I have worked with have all been super excellent and knowledgeable in their fields. If you tell the office that you need another vaccine dose ASAP, they may well be able to accommodate you.
posted by zachlipton at 11:58 PM on November 13, 2009

It's extremely unlikely that you will get dengue fever directly from your SO. It is mostly a mosquito borne disease. But if you are visiting a dengue area, you must, must, must apply insect repellent or there is a strong chance of your catching it. Get tropical strength repellent and apply liberally - and I mean absolutely slather it on - as long as you are in the dengue region. I speak as one who suffered through a dengue epidemic in Far North Queensland, in Australia. I didn't catch it, but knew plenty of people who did, and believe me, you do not want to share this particular experience with your SO. There is some useful information about dengue, transmission and prevention here.
posted by t0astie at 3:26 AM on November 14, 2009

I've made a look through Pubmed and Fields Virology and, while Fields mentions the possibility of infection by oral or intranasal routes, I can find absolutely no mention of human-to-human transmission outside of contact with blood products nor anything about oral shedding of the virus. In fact, since the only information given about maintenance of the pool of virus involves a circle of human-to-mosquito-to-human transmissions, I'd guess that human-to-human doesn't typically happen.
posted by The Bishop of Turkey at 10:58 AM on November 14, 2009

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