Saturday, January 4, 2014

Travel Health - South Korea

There's nothing like traveling to remind you of all the potential health risks out there in the world. Looking at a list of vaccinations and global health problems sometimes causes me to panic. I get the urge to seal up my windows and doors, and stock up on hand sanitizer. Germs! Foreign germs! It's like being an alien from another planet, only to die from Earth's common cold.

I've been preparing myself for my travels, as much as I can. I'm still waiting on those personal force fields that regulate air quality and temperature, killing any dangerous substance that passes through it (why has no one invented this yet?), but in the meantime -- shots. Lots of them. I think I mentioned a while back that I was sore for days after getting up-to-date on my vaccinations. Last week, I got even more shots (yay) but at least they didn't make me sore.

If you're planning to travel to South Korea, I suggest checking this MD Travel Health site first. Also, the CDC website is very helpful.

I was planning on getting the Japanese Encephalitis vaccination before I go, but since I'm going before the high risk season I was advised to get it while in Korea. It's cheaper, and since there is no definite expiration date on how long it lasts, getting it closer to high risk season (starting May) is probably wise. If I'd gotten it here, I would have had to pay $200 or more. In Korea it's roughly $20. Supply and demand.

I'm also planning to get my rabies vaccine there, maybe. It's not likely that I'll cuddle up to any wild animals, but...

I went to a travel medicine clinic to get the second batch of vaccinations for my travels. They didn't take insurance, which it seems most travel clinics in my area don't. They can give you a receipt, which you then submit to your insurance to see if they will reimburse you, but you pay it all up front.

If you have any questions that I didn't cover here, let me know. I'll do my best to answer. Next week I'll talk about... something else. I'm not sure yet. I'm getting closer to my departure date (which is kind of still up in the air at the moment), still raising money (help me out?) and getting things together (which will result in more preparation blog posts).

Any questions? Comments? Let me know. Thank you for reading!


  1. I remember those typhoid pills from the mission. Be advised I still got typhoid--beeee careful :)

    1. Where did you go? Yeah, I'll try to be careful. Thanks!

  2. Hi Emily! I was wondering how long it took for you to hear back from Korvia after your initial application. Thanks!

  3. Hi Emily! I was wondering how long it took for you to hear back from Korvia after your initial application. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel! A few days, I think? I can't remember when I sent in the application, but I was able to speak with someone at Korvia the day after they contacted me to set up a Skype interview. Good luck with your goals!