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Maleria Tablets Question

Travel Forums Asia Maleria Tablets Question

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1. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 7y

Hey all,

Just a quick question.....my girlfriend and I will be in Indonesia and SE Asia (including Cambodia & Loas) for 5+ months. Because of our route (Indo 2 months - Maylasia - Thailand - Cambodia - Loas - Vietnam ) and the fact that you have to take the maleria tablets for 4 weeks after you leave a maleria affected zone, it has been advised that we will need to be on the tablets for the entire 5 months, which i thought was a very long time.

Is this safe and has anyone else been on the meleria tablets for this amount of time If so, did it affect you in any way

I don't plan to take any myself (instead use a good Mosquito spray with high Deet) but my girlfriend is quite prone to getting bitten, so we thought it was best that she was on the tablets.

Any info would be great. Thanks in advance.

JD.

2. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

The incidence of Malaria in the tropics is relatively small. You have a much bigger chance of contracting Dengue Fever for which there's no preventative drug available or Japanese encephalitis both of which are prevalent in Southeast Asia during the monsoon season when there is an abundance of water around.

You can track current threats from all three via healthmap.org. In the navigation menu, click the AZ button in the submenu called "Diseases last 30 days" and then click the link called "none". This will remove all diseases which are indicated by yellow, orange and red balloons on the map. Then checkmark Dengue Fever, Japanese encephalitis and Malaria and you'll see where infections are occuring and the degree of severity.

If you uncheck the boxes for Dengue and Jap encephalitis leaving just Malaria in place, you'll see that there have only been eight cases worldwide of which none have been recorded in the countries you propose to visit.

Hope this helps.

3. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 7y

Blinq-
Sorry to completely disagree with your comments above, but they are dangerously misleading.
A website like you linked is a highly inaccurate site for information on which to base the need for prophylaxis- Their informations may not be updated, how many actual cases get reported is unclear and most importantly it does not obviously account for cases that have not been diagnosed.

The bottom line is malaria IS a concern in the areas jadeverell is going, particularly in rural areas. People DIE from malaria every day. And I have seen quite a few backpackers who were equally cavalier as the above comments , who thought they did not need prophylaxis, but got severely ill.

There are many websites that give medical advise based on where you are going. My personal favorite is from the CDC.

http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx

Malaria is a serious illness that is quite preventable. And yes, you can take anti-malarials for that duration. This is done all the time.

There are also other pre-travel issues relkated to your health that need to be addressed including being up to date on all your vaccinations, as well as typhoid and hepatitis A. I would strongly advise discussion with a physician knowledgable in travel advise, or a travel clinic.

Good luck- Hope you have a great trip. It would be crazy to let a preventable illness ruin it.

4. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting CanadaGuy

Blinq-
Sorry to completely disagree with your comments above, but they are dangerously misleading.
A website like you linked is a highly inaccurate site for information on which to base the need for prophylaxis- Their informations may not be updated, how many actual cases get reported is unclear and most importantly it does not obviously account for cases that have not been diagnosed.

The bottom line is malaria IS a concern in the areas jadeverell is going, particularly in rural areas. People DIE from malaria every day. And I have seen quite a few backpackers who were equally cavalier as the above comments , who thought they did not need prophylaxis, but got severely ill.

There are many websites that give medical advise based on where you are going. My personal favorite is from the CDC.

http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx

I'm not disputing that Malaria is a serious disease, but at this particular moment in time, practically all cases are confined to South Africa.

Using the link you provided, these are the results compiled by the CDC:

  • Thailand
  • Risk in rural areas that border Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma). Very limited risk in Phang Nga and Phuket therefore prophylaxis is not recommended for these two areas. No risk in cities and in major tourist resorts. No risk in Bangkok, Chiang Main, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Ko Samio, and Ko Phangan.

Where it concerns Indonesia, the results are as follows:

  • 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, resorts areas of Bali and the island of Java, except for the Menoreh Hills in central Java. No risk in urban areas in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara Barat and Sulawesi.

You can check the data yourself @ CDC Malaria Map

5. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 7y

I am very much aware of the risks in SE Asia-
Malaria prophylaxis is recommended, at least in some parts of ALL the countries jadeverell is going to- Recommendations will differ by his specific itinerary.

He and his girlfriend will be far better served going to a travel clinic, and seeing a doctor, and taking the advised prophylaxis, and not listening to some misinformed guy off a website who is trying to mislead him that it is not necessary.
Bling- if you want to take your own health for granted- that is up to you. But I would recommend you limit your medical advise to others, particularly when it is incorrect.

6. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 7y

Malaria risk area in Laos: All, except no risk in the city of Vientiane.

Malaria risk area in Vietnam: 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.

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

Malaria risk area in Malaysia: 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.

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting CanadaGuy

I am very much aware of the risks in SE Asia-
Malaria prophylaxis is recommended, at least in some parts of ALL the countries jadeverell is going to- Recommendations will differ by his specific itinerary.

He and his girlfriend will be far better served going to a travel clinic, and seeing a doctor, and taking the advised prophylaxis, and not listening to some misinformed guy off a website who is trying to mislead him that it is not necessary.
Bling- if you want to take your own health for granted- that is up to you. But I would recommend you limit your medical advise to others, particularly when it is incorrect.

There's always a risk of contracting the disease in the same way that there's a risk you'll get run down by a bus when you cross the road, or maybe your aircraft will crash on landing and you'll be killed, but to reiterate, the number of cases of malaria in Southeast Asia is relatively minor compared to Dengue Fever

As regards CDC Travel Health Warnings, malaria does not feature on the agenda at this moment in time.

9. Posted by trainrider (Full Member 95 posts) 7y

Basically what they're saying is that if you dont visit high risk areas then you dont need Malaria tablets. As you are on a 5 month trip and will, im sure, be traveling extensively then I would recommend that you both use the malaria tabs. Deet is no protection for malaria. Go and see a Gp. Malaria isn't something to mess around with......

........Whilst on the subject does anyone know if you can buy malaria tablets In Thailand / Cambodia/ Vietnam / China without a prescription?

10. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 7y

Blinq-
This will be my last post on this topic, because you have clearly shown you are quite fuzzy on what is advisable, and continue to post dangerous comments on this topic ...

>>"there's a risk you'll get run down by a bus when you cross the road, or maybe your aircraft will crash on landing and you'll be killed, but to reiterate, the number of cases of malaria in Southeast Asia is relatively minor compared to Dengue Fever"

Putting aside that this is a complete "straw man" argument, getting in accidents does not have an easily available prevention, aside from you being carfeul. There is no vaccine for dengue- and the best advice is efforts to prevent mosquitoe bites .

But there ARE readily available malaria prevention tablets. And I will repeat again, because you just don't seem to recognize the limtations of any surveillance data base- they do not catch all cases. Their reported numbers of cases are not completely reliable.

There IS malaria in SE Asia. Most backpackers in the area WILL go to high risk areas, and prophylaxis is certainly indicated.

For the final time- see a doctor or a travel clinic- (and don't listen to people who don't know what they are talking about)