I'll be visiting Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia over a period of 7 months.
I intend of taking doxycyline malaria tablets, but I've read conflicting reports of where I should/don't have to take them.
Can anyone point out the must take places? I intend to do jungle treks and other similar activities.
You beat me to it Rasheeed.
Chicoelnino - I would usually say ask your doctor but I know even they advise differently. Still, they'll know better than me! Anyway, we took doxycycline as well and were advised by our doctor to take them in Cambodia and Laos and if we went off the coastal track in Vietnam - i.e. Mekong Delta and Sapa. Also, in Borneo and I think Northern Thailand. We didn't go to Indonesia so I'm not sure.
Amazing...with all the people in this forum that live/travel to Asia, and all I can is two replies? Come on folks? Our doc didn't tell us where we should/shouldn't take the tablets. I just presumed we had to take them for the whole 6 months while we traveled around?
I bet not a single expat or long term traveller on this forum has taken them either. (Hands up anyone).
If you really need to know, I believe the CDC and WHO sites have information for tourists.
Even if you get that query sorted out, asking where the "must take" places for doxycycline is a pretty pointless question. If you do decide to take it then you'll have to continue treatment for a month after leaving a risk area ...ie you'll have to take it even when you're somewhere where there's no malaria risk. You'd probably end up having to take for the entire trip ... and possibly a further month after you get home too.
BTW, the only place I've actually seen a tourist with malaria was in the Togian islands in central Sulawesi ... it's a beach destination but there's endemic malaria amongst the local population. Not sure why people always seem to think lots of trees make mosquitoes more dangerous....a mosquito can't transmit malaria unless it's previously bitten someone who's got the disease.
You should be more concerned about dengue anyway, it's far more common than malaria in SE Asia. The only way to avoid dengue is to apply plenty of repellent ... which also repels any malaria-carrying mosquitoes about of course.
I suggest you discuss this with a doctor. According to this website, you can take doxycycline for a period of up to 6 months but that also includes 4 weeks at the end of your travels. Look for the table "Long Term use of Anti-Malaria Drugs."
The risks vary from place to place.
This website has malaria maps that show the risks
Chicoelnino, check this page out on WHO webpage http://apps.who.int/tools/geoserver/www/ith/index.html
Hope this helps!
I am heading off for 7 weeks to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.... Happy and safe travels !
#8 BeeBop has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 1
"I bet not a single expat or long term traveller on this forum has taken them either. (Hands up anyone)."
Hand! (living/travelling the region since late 90s, guess I should be dead by now). Actually took the meds at first then figured otherwise.
"If you really need to know, I believe the CDC and WHO sites have information for tourists."
Good resources for further reading, and look up dengue fever while you're there and check which medications to prevent that (hint: there are none).
Overall better to avoid getting bitten by mozzies in the first place via repellent, frequent showering - repeat application of repellent, wear long sleeves/legs evenings and mornings, and make sure your screened/sealed sleeping room/net is clear of the little biters before bedtime (I carry a mozzie-zapper device just for kicks). Malaria in SEA isn't anywhere near the risk level of sub-Saharan Africa or Amazonian S.America. Risk is in fact minimal in built-up tourist areas and cities (but again check about dengue).
IO have been here for 18 months and never taken them. My doctor back in the UK said to not bother and advised against it.
Just wear long sleeves, mossie repellant as anti malarial tablets wont stop you getting Dengue fever anyways. If the unfortunate case you contract Malaria then its easily sorted with some medication.
Cover up! Safe travels