Today, wearing only one layer of clothing (ONE LAYER! ON NOVEMBER 9TH! IN ITHACA!), I made my way to Gannett Health Services, Cornell’s center for everything health-related, for a travel clinic appointment in anticipation of my trip to India in January with IARD 6020. Having traveled to various parts of tropical Latin America before, I’m no stranger to getting a shot here or taking some pills there to ward off malaria or something of the sort.
But what I was met with today was an extensive list of the health risks that face me upon arrival in India. For example, the mosquitoes that transmit malaria only are around from dusk to dawn, BUT their counterparts that carry other diseases for which there are no pre-exposure pills or shots happen to be flying around from dawn ’til dusk, ensuring that the visitor is constantly surrounded by tiny airborne menaces. Of course, everything in the world of travel medicine errs on the side of extreme caution and assuming I take the correct precautions, I should return to Cornell in one piece (as IARD 6020 students have for years) for the spring semester. That said, this list of health risks was matched by an equally impressive list of shots and pills that I should be taking: 4 shots and 2 sets of pills!
My arm might be a bit sore now after getting three of those shots today, but hey, I got the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine without having to wait in an epically long line, PLUS the added bonus of inching towards immortality.