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advice please on travel to Asia

(28 Posts)
ch1134 Tue 28-Apr-15 22:16:38

I was hoping to meet an Australian friend in Asia this summer as she's going to Vietnam and I'd love to go.
I am up to date on all jabs except hep A, so the nurse has said not to get the jab and not to go whilst pregnant.
Can anyone think of a country not too far from Vietnam that would be great to visit and has a lower risk of hep A?
Or advice on whether or not to get the jab?

SunshineAndShadows Tue 28-Apr-15 22:21:15

Hong Kong and Singapore are likely to be lower risk (but do check) basically Hep A will be a potential risk in any developing country

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 28-Apr-15 22:24:48

Some areas of Vietnam have malaria (might be seasonal) and I'm pretty sure you can't take malaria tablets either. Agree with Sunshine on those places, or Japan?

Hophop987 Wed 29-Apr-15 01:45:41


newbian Wed 29-Apr-15 02:21:24

I went to Thailand pregnant and the doctor didn't say anything about needing shots to go there. Hong Kong/Singapore would be so negligible of a risk of Hep A that I'd put it at zero. I'd put Taiwan on that list as well.

needadvice321 Wed 29-Apr-15 02:53:07

I live in Hong Kong and am not vaccinated against Hep A. Had 3 pregnancies here no issue. Been to Phuket Thailand twice in pregnancy it's fine. Would probably avoid Vietnam whilst pregnant not least as healthcare less developed if you should need it. Singapore very safe and clean and more of a holiday destination than Hong Kong.

ch1134 Wed 29-Apr-15 04:29:27

Thank you all. I'll look into Taiwan and Thailand and talk it over with the nurse.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Wed 29-Apr-15 12:37:23

You need vaccination for Thailand, my friend did last month anyway. Guess it depends if you're up to date with yours or not - have a look on NHS fit for travel website

AbbeyRoadCrossing Wed 29-Apr-15 12:48:16

Here you go, and malaria seems to be in the countryside only but check the map

Skiptonlass Wed 29-Apr-15 18:09:42

Second Singapore (it's seriously clean) or Hong Kong.

Id avoid Vietnam - I had an encounter with the medical system there and it was....basic. Thailand is very variable depending on where you go. Malaria is generally a problem only in certain areas.

Singapore is cleaner and in many ways more advanced than most western cities and very safe indeed. Personally I prefer Hong Kong as a place - it's much more fun, but if I had to go out there now I'd go for KL or Singapore.

Don't discount how grim the heat may make you feel as well!

AbbeyRoadCrossing Wed 29-Apr-15 18:55:26

Ooh yes you could eat your dinner off the Singapore underground - so clean! Japan also very clean and excellent medical care. Hong Kong I loved as well but found it a bit bargy when pregnant, people kept pushing into the (very small) bump.

ch1134 Wed 29-Apr-15 23:05:09

Thanks. The more westernised places appeal less! I've been to Singapore and don't want to go back. I'm considering a package to Thailand to play it a bit safer but will discuss with the nurse.

ch1134 Sun 03-May-15 22:41:40

Just bumping this thread as I'm still undecided. The nurses said no but my sister-in-law is a doctor and said just go and be careful.
I don't want to put the baby at risk, but Hep A is unlikely to cause grave harm anyway.
It's also a real opportunity to go as my toddler won't be free on planes for much longer and I'm desperate to see this friend who will be there then.
Any other advice or opinions appreciated. Thanks.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sun 03-May-15 22:50:25

I guess it depends on the level of risk you're comfortable with. If you're careful with where you eat and cleanliness it'd be fairly unlikely for anything to happen. Although for me personally I'd be more concerned about the healthcare standards, depending on the country, in case I needed it.
I expect you've probably thought about this but how far along you'd be and any pregnancy related conditions are other factors. And check your insurance etc.
Hopefully you won't get anything and have a nice boring pregnancy, but for example I had low lying placenta identified at my 20 week scan so I didn't go anywhere abroad after that
I really would recommend Japan, most of it isn't westernised. Last time I went was to off the beaten track places and in 2 weeks I only saw one other foreigner!

ch1134 Sun 03-May-15 22:57:33

Thanks. As it's not a live vaccine I may just choose to get that anyway.

Amaxapax Sun 03-May-15 23:00:11

I found out I was pregnant the morning we left for two weeks in Thailand. I was quite lucky as I felt really well until the last few days, when I started getting quite tired and was nauseous in the last few days.

Apart from that, I thought it was great! The worst health issue I had was mosquito bites, but we weren't in an area where malaria was a concern. The food was fresh and very well cooked. Obviously I avoided street food and I had exclusively bottled water, even for teeth brushing, but that was easy enough.

We have actually talked about going back to Thailand when our babies are born because we enjoyed it so much. I felt very safe and found the whole experience quite easy, despite travelling to three different locations. The service was excellent everywhere we went and everything felt so laid back and relaxed. I never once felt concerned for my health or that of the babies, (although at that point we didn't know there was more than one!).

FadedRed123 Sun 03-May-15 23:11:40

Are you sure you do need booster for Hep A? Have you had it before? Your post seems to indicate to me you've travelled to this area before. If you've had 2 doses of a mono dose vaccine, with at least 6 months between them, (these have been available since mid 1990's) then you are covered for at least 20 years and probably for life.

Scotinoz Sun 03-May-15 23:17:35

I went to Singapore at around 29/30 weeks. Super clean, super medical facilities etc. Everyone was very accommodating of the pregnant lady...tables magically appeared in packed restaurants wink

Plus it's very convenient from Oz, lots of cheap flights for your friend grin

Iflyaway Sun 03-May-15 23:27:58

Newbian, I am shocked your doctor told you that while pregnant.

My GP admitted he didn't know anything much about the tropics and their diseases - that's normal - and told me to go to the specialists.
(I'm not in UK)....

I always do (frequent traveller).

Google your nearest hospital(?) clinic.

Malaria pills should not be taken while pregnant if I am not mistaken.

Do you have the "Yellow Book" International Vaccinations? (It's like a passport showing what you've had).
They usually don't ask to see it but they could - Yellow fever is a must if travelling from infected countries etc.

Iflyaway Sun 03-May-15 23:34:51

Oh, and I am off again at the end of this month, I needed a DTP booster. Tetanus of course....

Thank Goddess! I live in a country where I can take care of my own health.... smile

newbian Mon 04-May-15 02:13:16

Iflyway - I live in Asia, in a more developed country than Thailand. I specifically asked if OK to go there and the doctor (who was trained in Europe) said no problem. While in Thailand there was a French lady and an British lady at the same resort who were also pregnant.

I was in Phuket which is a resort area and does not have malaria. It's a common vacation spot from where I am so the doctors know enough to give advice on travel there.

newbian Mon 04-May-15 02:14:42

Oh and to add - I cancelled a trip to Africa on the same doctor's advice because malaria tablets are necessary for most of that region and they are not indicated safe in pregnancy.

You do NOT need to take malaria tablets in Phuket, Koh Samui, or the other resort regions in Thailand. Therefore I cannot imagine there is any particular risk in travelling there while pregnant. I'm walking talking proof of it.

ch1134 Mon 04-May-15 07:02:52

Thank you again. You're making me feel better! I had one course of hep a but didn't get the booster so am out of date. If we do go we'd maybe just stick to one resort and avoid the long train travel I was so looking forward to (I love trains) to minimise needing street food etc. We may do one internal flight to see Angkor Wat but would be more cautious in everything than I would usually be. Just bottled water for me!

goodnessgraciousgouda Mon 04-May-15 08:54:10

Japan. Just avoid the sushi. There is plenty of other food there.

Providing you're okay to fly long haul in the summer obviously.

Jellybean2011 Mon 04-May-15 14:19:01

While I was pregnant I travelled to Bali, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We were backpacking too so weren't exactly going for luxury although we did pay to stop in nicer places compared to if I wasn't pregnant. We did resort to street food a few times too but I'm vegetarian so didn't have to worry about how well the meat was cooked etc.

My doctor (in Australia) had no problems with any of these countries and said the sun would boost my Vitamin D smile she did suggest only bottled water and to keep well hydrated xx

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