Nothing will ruin your trip to Jordan, or anywhere else for that matter, like a nasty bout with influenza. This is what happened to a couple of individuals in our tour group last year.
It could have just as easily been me had my wife not reminded – around this time last year – that it takes a week or two for one’s body to completely absorb and build antibodies in response to a flu shot.
It was good advice, so on the first weekend of October of 2007, I paid my $20 and took my shot at not having to host a ride for the influenza virus to the Hashemite Kingdom a month later. Nor perchance pick it up as a hitch hiker taking advantage of the close proximity and recycled air that comes with a “comfy” coach seat on Royal Jordanian – despite the best efforts of the crew to kill it with their cigarette smoke wafting out of their cabin.
Latter sarcasm aside, if you’ve traveled in coach, then you know how unavoidable contact is … which is something to consider along with this quote from this ‘International Travel Vaccines and Advice‘ from Passport Health:
“Influenza is spread when people work closely together or touch infected surfaces, …
Oh sure I cried like a baby when I got stuck like a pin cushion by the nice nurse lady … and was a bit put out I didn’t get a lollipop for my effort … but I also didn’t suffer the discomfort of cold sweats, chills, incredible headache and bodily aches while trying to climb the 900+ stairs to the Monastery at Petra, nor hike about the ruins at Umm Qais and Jerash.
Not convinced? Here are some more articles on the topic:
- Washington Post – Flu shot season begins with ample supply coming
- 86% of Americans Told to Get Flu Shot – WaPo again
- Maxim – Find-a-Flu Shot Locator (US only)
- Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Medical Facilities and Health Information – Travel.State.Gov
Update – 06Oct08 – Just got this nice note from Katie at PassportHealthUSA.com.
Right you are about the importance of the flu shot! I did want to bring to your attention one thing. The link to our Passport Health blog is incorrect. The correct blog address is http://internationaltravelvaccines.blogspot.com/ … Enjoy your travels and stay healthy!