I've been to my travel doctor and am planning to get immunisation against Hep A and B, Typhoid and malaria pills.
I am planning to travel in the north of Thailand and go overland into Cambodia.
Does anyone have any advice or anecdotes about immunisation. I'm considering getting Rabies immunisation and Cholera tablets, but they are really expensive, and do I really need them?
(I am presently vaccinated against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus and Polio )
Travel Doctors, and Overseas Health Clinics in wealthy countries are my favourite topic!!
Seriously you must remember that these places are businesses, and if they were to tell you that the rest of the world is fine, they make nothing from you.
I have nothing against agencies or people making money, but advice about pharmecuticals should be out of the hands of private business.
I live in North Thailand and despite hearing from people who visit that it's a "Malaria hotspot" (according to the Travel Clinics), I have not encountered any Malaria cases amongst locals or travellers since I have been here.
Having said that Northern Thailand covers a big area.
I wouldn't take the pills, I would cover up (wear long sleeves and trousers) around dusk, and wear repellant where you find mosquitos (buy in Thailand, more effective and cheaper). If you ever have a fever while you are in Asia get your blood checked immediately.
If you really do feel the need to get Malaria tablets (I think Malarone is the latest favourite) buy them in Bangkok, much cheaper.
I wouldn't worry about Rabies. If you get bitten by anything (unlikely) go to a hospital. You will get lots of unpleasant injections all the same.
Cholera, I don't know but think that the fact I don't know probably means that it is not worth worrying about.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and cannot be held responsible if you contract some hideous tropical disease.
Hope that helps a bit
BTW. Come to Chiang Dao while you are in North Thailand!!
Agree with getting the shots, though personally I wouldn't bother with the rabies shot - just steer clear of crazy looking animals!
For malaria, it is still a problem along the western border area of Thailand and in Cambodia. Before you decide to take anti-malarials, do some research into the side effects, particularly with regards to Larium which I wouldn't recommend anyone ever take. The best cure is prevention though as mentioned by #1, use repellent, were long sleeves and trousers and so on.
Malarials are far cheaper in Thailand than the west, though you'll be buying a generic rather than a branded anti-malarial in most cases.
Hope that helps
Thanks - that helps a lot.
I would agree with previous comments about prevention, but don't go without some sort of Malaria tablet. It's a killer and you only die once (alledgedly).
Rabies - not much point, you'll still need treatment, just be careful.
Cholera - I was told there was no point, and that it was avoidable if you keep your personal hygiene sorted and avoid dodgy sanitation.
But you must get the Hep and Typhoid - essential.