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Malaria Hotspots in SE Asia

Travel Forums Asia Malaria Hotspots in SE Asia

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1. Posted by Walkaways (Full Member 106 posts) 9y

Ok all those seasoned travellers, where are the most Malarial hotspots in SE Asia?

I'm going to travel as far and wide as i can and would like to be prepared.

Ive been travelling to Thailand before and before i went was told that it was a Malarial hot spot, but was told by another medical guy that what id been told was wrong and that only a small area to the north of Thailand is Malarial (I didin't go north so never got to test this theory)

Anyway........ Phillipines, Indonesia Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myannamar (or however you spell it), etc?


2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3744 posts) 9y

As far as I was aware (from when i was in thailand) the only regions that are malarial are along the border areas with myanmar, and a small part of kanchanaburi provence but i think the risk is low here. i was advised to take prophylactics for laos, cambodia, myanmar and vietnam. not sure about the phillipinnes. Malaysia is fine.

3. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 9y

Malaysia is basically Malaria-free unless you want to go into the deep jungles of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo.

4. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Just literally hung up the phone from the nurse in my GP surgery - she was arranging a perscription for my malaria drugs for Vietnam - so it is definately recommended for there!

5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3744 posts) 9y

Make sure you wear plenty of repellent in the day too as Dengue fever is also a problem in SE Asia and the dengue mosquitoes bite mainly in the day.

6. Posted by Walkaways (Full Member 106 posts) 9y

A friend just told me he thought Chiang Mai in Thailand was malarial but ive never heard this (especially as so many people travel there). I guess the jungle areas may be but i think thats all. Anyone know about Indonesia or Cambodia at all? Papua New Guinea?

What is this Dengue fever anyway? I have never been warned about that when travelling to Asia. Whereabouts is it?

I am very surprised that you said the kanchanaburi provence was malarial. I travelled that area last year and was told there was nothing to worry about.

I'm thinking of living around Chiang Mai for a while then doing a mild tour of SE Asia after. Im basically concerned about having to spend a chunk of my budget on medicine and jabs - plus im leaving in December so should really get in gear.

7. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 9y

Nobody can tell you not to use malaria tablets , i would be pretty irresponsible to tell someone not too .
The main hot spots in SEA are pretty safe but i suppose it only takes one bite to be unlucky .
I got absolutely hammered by mosquitoes in Thailand , Cambodia , Vietnam and have had no problem with Malaria (apart from some nasty scares on my legs . Its the wet season you need to worry about (that's when they all start to come out , when its damp) I think on my next trip i will use Malaria tablets because of the amount of times i got bitten .
You can have Malaria in your system for about a year without it being released into your body property , and then all of a sudden start to be effected by it .

8. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3744 posts) 9y

i was advised that parts of cambodia are malarial - not sure about PNG or Indonesia.

Dengue fever is a mosquito - borne disease which causes flu- like symtoms and in extreme cases can be fatal. There is no vaccine for it at the moment and you can't take tablets to prevent it like you can for malaria. South East Asia is one of the endemic areas for dengue.
if you have a look at it gives you some general health advice for individual countries.

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Risk throughout the country, including risk in the temple complex at Angkor Wat. No risk in Phnom Penh and around Lake Tonle Sap.

Risk in rural Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Nusa Tenggara Barat. No risk in urban areas.Risk in all areas of eastern Indonesia (provinces of Papua Indonesia, Irian Jaya Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Maluku, and Maluku Utara).
No risk in Jakarta, resort areas of Bali and the island of Java, except for the Menoreh Hills in central Java.

All, except no risk in the city of Vientiane.

Risk in rural areas, particularly in the forested, hilly, and underdeveloped interior areas. No risk in urban and coastal areas. Note: No risk in Republic of Singapore.

Myanmar (Burma)
Risk in rural areas throughout the country at altitudes below 1000 m (<3,281 ft). No risk in cities of Rangoon (Yangon) and Mandalay.

Risk exists in areas below 600 m (<1,969 ft), except no risk in Bohol Island, Borocay Island, Catanduanes Island, and Cebu Island. No risk is considered to exist in Manila or other urban areas.

Rural only, except no risk in the Red River delta and the coastal plain north of the Nha Trang. No risk in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, and Haiphong.

Information taken from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Yellow Fever & Malaria Risk page. For further information and maps, see the CDC Prevention of Specific Diseases - Malaria page.

10. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Quoting Walkaways

Anyone know about Indonesia or Cambodia at all? Papua New Guinea?

See above post for Cambodia and Indonesia.

Papua New Guinea
Risk throughout at altitudes below 1,800 m (<5,906 ft).

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Yellow Fever & Malaria Risk

What is this Dengue fever anyway? I have never been warned about that when travelling to Asia. Whereabouts is it?

Dengue Fever is a viral disease that is transmitted (most commonly) by the Aedes aegypti mosquito - which prefers humans to other warm blooded animals. There is no vaccination for DF and infected patients are treated symptomatically. DF is found in most sub-tropical/tropical countries around the world (S. Pacific, Asia, the Americas and Africa). Approximately 1% of people infected with Dengue Fever will progress and develop Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). There are 4 strains of the virus identified at this time. A person infected with one strain of DF virus will not develop immunity against the remaining three.

Symptoms of DF are similar to influenza in most patients and can include severe frontal headache, high fever, and joint/muscle pain. Incubation time is 3-14 days with symptoms presenting themselves around the 5-7 day mark. Nausea, vomiting and a spreading rash occur in several people. In milder cases, it is not uncommon for a person to show no symptoms at all. The majority of patients recover on their own though recovery can take several weeks. Patients should not take aspirin or ibuprofen (NSAIDs) for the headache/muscle/joint pain because they do have anti-coagulation properties. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the pain reliever of choice.

For more information about dengue Fever and distribution maps for both the western and eastern hemispheres, see the CDC - Dengue Fever Prevention and Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases - Dengue Fever pages.