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Malaria - 6 months in SEA

Travel Forums Asia Malaria - 6 months in SEA

1. Posted by LucaUK (Budding Member 29 posts) 8y

I will be spending 6 months in malaria areas... I am not aware of any drugs that can effectively protect you for that long.. Shall I just not bother? What are the actual epidemiological risks to get malaria?? If I Get DEET bug repellent and I eat well, look after myself and my immune system...

2. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

This is another thread that might help you link.

LucaUK I am not aware of any drugs that can effectively protect you for that long

Essentially AntiMalarials do not protect you, they offer increased resistance to the malaria strain. I have also known people to take AntiMalarials for 12 years (though I would not recommend it) more commonly I have known several dozen living in high malaria zones taking the medication for 2-3 years.

I would advise you to consult with your local tropical disease clinic. WHO also have a good site on malaria.

If you deciede to take a course of antimalrials be sure to start before you leave, and keep taking the meds for 3-4 weeks after you get home.

DEET is only as effective as where you put it. Dousing your whole body in that stuff will is pretty nasty.

Long sleeves, long pants and a mosquito net at night.

Hope the info helps

3. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 8y

>>> Essentially AntiMalarials do not protect you, they offer increased resistance to the malaria strain.

Sorry- not an accurate statement outcast. Antimalaria prophylaxis absolutely does "protect" you. Some medications kill the blood stage of the parasite, some the liver stage as well.... When taken properly ( good adherence, right drug etc) then they are highly effective- although nothing is 100%. There is lots of clinical experience in people taking antimalarials for quite prologed periods of time ( eg. servicemen) with very high safety.
Absolutely go to a travel clinic/ infectious diseases specialist to get recommendations specific for your itinerary.
I have seen patients DIE from malaria who have traveled to SE Asia- it is not worth the risk.

4. Posted by LucaUK (Budding Member 29 posts) 8y

Thank you.

The other problem is that certain type of malaria areas require certain type of medicines and other areas different meds... I will be travelling quite extensively, I can't just change type of tablets every time I take a new bus or a boat north or south.. and to get a fully updated and accurate map of malaria areas and types doesn't look that easy in the first place.

I agree one should be as safe as he can possibly be, and to be safe should always be encouraged... the little market research I have been doing amongst experienced travellers here in China gives me a mixed feedback - some took tablets when travelling in SEA, some didn't... I guess eventually this is a personal choice and I haven't made up my mind yet.

An interesting guy said he brought some tablets with him, so if he got sick he could take them until he made it to an hospital. Does this make any sense?

5. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

outcast Essentially AntiMalarials do not protect you, they offer increased resistance to the malaria strain.

CanadaGuy Sorry- not an accurate statement outcast. Antimalaria prophylaxis absolutely does "protect" you. Some medications kill the blood stage of the parasite, some the liver stage as well.... When taken properly ( good adherence, right drug etc) then they are highly effective- although nothing is 100%.

Apologies if I didn't write this clearly enough. By saying not protect you and then offer increased resistance I was meaning they to not offer 100% protection as CanadaGuy stated.

I have had malaria in West Africa and been mistreated for it on many occasions by both local and International Doctors. And nearly kicked the bucket because of it. So taking as much precaution as possible is essential.

For a short term (6 month trip) into SEA, go and see a tropical health center and get their advise on what to take for the regions you are going. It is true that different strains of Malaria require different prophylaxis and treatments. Be sure to start your prophylaxis several weeks before you leave to see for any side effects, and keep the treatment going for a month upon your return.

For longer term travel, several years, its very much a different story in my experience.

Online forums can only dispense users own personal advice. I seriously recommend a Tropical Disease clinic as your next stop as there is more than just Malaria in SEA that can ruin your trip or make you ill. It's better to be prepared.

Hope this helps

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 31, 2008, at 8:18 PM by outcast ]