Hi this is Roszika, I need advice on travellin... - CLL Support

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Hi this is Roszika, I need advice on travelling to South America


Hi my hubbie and I are booked on a cruise to South America starting in Buenos Aries going down to Uraguay then the Cape Horn and back up to Puerto montt Chile and finishing in Valpaiaso Chile. I live in Australia. Now we all know us CLL people cannot have the yellow fever vaccine. I have a letter from my specialist stating I cannot have this shot. But my question is am I being unwise in going to South America considering the risks. My husband is not happy about me going but last year we were in the Carribean and we stopped at Costa Rica and I was ok. His argument was that was on ONE day only but this cruise next year is 14 days in total visiting the above places. If you have any opinion I would be glad to read it as I am not sure wether to go ahead or not.

12 Replies

HI Roszika

I to am from Aussie.

Have similar alc and vintage and fatigue.

My oncolo/hemo will not let me travel.

How do you go about travel insurance.



roszika in reply to Joffre1

If you own a company and have an ABN number some insurance brokers will cover you

roszika in reply to Joffre1

Also my oncologist has allowed me to travel so far and have just come back from 6weeks because in Europe as apart from a higher WBC count my haemaglobin and platelet counts are normal. Of course if that changes my long distance travel days will be over- Cheers Rosie


I think the issue is 2 fold.

Unusual diseases exposure.

Access to adequate medical care if you were to get an infection.

Apart from increased susceptibility to infection courtesy off CLL.

I have been banned from travelling to many countries. Sadly.

I hope you get on ok!

Jig. UK.

Hi, It is reassuring to know there is a doctor on the ship. Most meals will be on the ship also. These are countries I have never been to but as I have mobility issues I research all the places in advance and can check risk. We went to Bangkok and ships tours were to clean places to eat and use toilets. Hope you stay well and the consultant can check your immunity.

I went to Buenos Aires a couple of years ago (I'm on W & W). I was advised that if you are going to be in city centres (and especially on a ship) you'll be OK. If you're heading into the interior jungles/wilderness then you will be at risk of being bitten by mosquitoes carrying yellow fever. I'm hoping to go back to Buenos Aires again--just love South America. Your cruise sounds amazing--wish I could join you!

This link with reference to South America may be of help:


roszika in reply to WestCoast_1

Thanks I thought as much. Yes we just booked the flights yesterday and the cruise was booked last year while on another cruise. What about going to Iguazo falls or is that in what one would call the wilderness. My gut feeling tells me that would be a no go area for me- what do you think West Coast? Appreciate your input. Cheers Roszika actaully rosie

WestCoast_1 in reply to roszika

My travel doctor asked me if I was going Iguazu Falls at the time--sadly, this would be a high risk area as it's more remote and inland.

Just before diagnosis I went to Peru on a land tour and native tour guide kept saying don't drink the water from the faucets to prevent getting sick, and I kept forgetting and went on auto pilot and brushed my teeth and used the faucet water to rinse . . . then remembered I wasn't supposed to do that after I got done. I didn't get sick but my friend who was careful did get sick. Bring your own hand sanitizer (ships are pretty good at spraying sanitizer before you enter the buffet areas).

Another thing I learned was that you can't have a credit card with a long pin# because their ATMs only have 4 or 5 spots to enter your code. If your code was longer - too bad, no money from ATMs.

I don't know how they are with money from other countries but you had to have PERFECT money, not a single nick or tear or they'd refuse to take your USA dollars. They might be happy to give you a ripped bill since you're a tourist, but don't think you can get away with bundling it and giving it to them, they check each and every bill carefully. I had a shameful embarassment of a ripped $20 that NO ONE would take (except back home). I felt so bad for the bill. I don't know if Uruguay and Chile are the same about money, but better to check before you go, or just use their currencies.

Mosquitoes and many bugs do not like the smell of patchouli essential oil. You could purchase a small bottle of patchouli oil and apply some dabs to various points along your body, or add it to some body lotion, or shampoo, etc. It is an essential oil you can apply neat if you don't have super sensitive skin. However, if you haven't used it before, just do a skin test first by applying to your inner elbow and waiting until the next day for any reaction.

I wear patchouli oil and I don't get bit even when those around me do. It would add some protection for you when venturing off the ship.

Hi Rosika,

I suggest that you visit the CDC site , the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You will find maps and country specific information that is usually bang up to date. I have just visited the site; Chile is listed as not requiring yellow fever vaccinations and only two provinces in Argentina (Corriones and Missiones) are listed as "recommended" in terms of vaccination.

We travelled widely in Argentina and Chile in 2006 with my usual bag of diverse antibiotics related to immune system potential issues and a letter from the doctor explaining why. I also travel with a strong antihystamine, a first aid kit and hand sanitizer, just in case. We visited Iguazu which was not on the list of places requiring a jab at that time, we enjoyed three days walking the trails on the Argentinian side, spectacular. We travelled from the top to bottom of both countries plus a day trip to Uruguay from BA. I was on W & W in 2006 and remain so today. We had an amazing time, hope that you do too. Travel while we can!


CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero

Chapter 8 of the CDC Yellow Book specific to us immunocompromised travelers... guess I can't use the term fellow travelers... not PC 😵


Also the latest on ZIKA.. it is a daytime feeding mosquito...


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