Posted by: monsonmadness | May 20, 2012

Typhoid, German measles, and a Staph infection

One of the hardest things about living on a small Pacific island is dealing with more health issues than we are used to. There are more diseases, illnesses and problems here, which is sad because they are mostly preventable in better developed parts of the world.

Here are three recent examples:

1. I read in the local newspaper last week about a typhoid outbreak here at the prison (400 inmates). There were ten prisoners who were diagnosed with Typhoid last week, resulting in an emergency meeting with the Minister of Health and the Emergency Services to put in place these precautionary recommendations…”building more blocks of flats, improving and treating water, and creating a vaccine”.

We were all immunized against Typhoid before we came here, but it was not easy to get, and they don’t have one here. The water is not safe to drink. Most people buy bottled water, but we brought counter-top filters with us, and then put that water into a Brita. We drink a LOT of water in our house, so this was the cheapest method for us.

2. In church today they made a special announcement from the pulpit about an outbreak of German Measles (Rubella) in the Solomon Islands. They warned about those American Samoans traveling for the games, and how important it was for those traveling, as well as for their family members to go to the hospital and get immunized. In the USA, we take the MMR vaccine for granted, it’s much rarer to hear of these diseases in the mainland…

3. These photos (don’t look if you get queasy like Michael) are of Hannah’s best friend. She is only 7 years old and the poor girl can’t even walk right now because she’s in so much pain. At first, they thought it was a fungal infection, they had a nurse practitioner friend look at it, but now it looks like it’s Staph and so they’re taking her in to the hospital in the morning.

Getting infected from even teenie tiny cuts is so common here. Michael has taken upon him the title of “Mr. Antibiotic Cream” and smears it on our children at any scrape or cut. Sometimes I think he’s being a little too extreme, and I tease him, but I think that his cautiousness and diligence has really paid off. Our kids have fared better than so many others around.

Crazy huh?


  1. Oh my goodness- that poor girl! That looks horrible. That is scary. My brother in law has gotten serious staph infections and it was scary- I can’t imagine how scary it would be to get one there where the health care is not as good. Good for Michael being Mr Antibiotic Cream! Miles is the same way and I’m sure he would go way overboard if we lived there!!

  2. That is horrible Helen. That poor little girl. I am glad that you guys have been ok. It was fun to talk to you for a minute last week!

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