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Malaria tablets - Thailand and Cambodia

  • erinj

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd August, 2007
    Posts: 12

    Destinations= Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Ao Nang, Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat/Siem Reap

    OKay

    My doctor said malaria tabs were not necessary, I insisted as we're going to stay on an Elephant Reserve near Chiang Mai and I don't want to take any chances. He said to start taking them 2 days before, and 1 week after returning.

    My partners doctor gave him malaria tabs and told him he will *definitely* need them in Cambodia and to continue taking them one month after returning.


    So.... who is right? What do you recommend?

    #1 Posted: 19/11/2007 - 08:24

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  • somtam2000

    admin
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    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
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    At least 113

    Hey, I thought the last question was your last one ;-)

    Sorry to keep sending you to feature stories, but there's a lot of info on Malaria in SE Asia in this story.

    My advice is always an ounce to prevention beats a pound of cure (or that's what my grandma says anyway) -- in the case of malaria, unless you're going to a high risk area, preventative measures like using repellant, dressing wisely and using a mosquito net are a better idea than popping pills.

    #2 Posted: 19/11/2007 - 11:49

  • jimsparadise

    Joined Travelfish
    25th November, 2006
    Posts: 30

    I'd rather have Malaria then take Malaria pills. That's the insider joke by the way, but some wisdom thru experience there. Dengue fever is more likely than Malaria. Get the absolute best (highest Deet %) mosquito repellant--use it generously, and you will have no problem in places you listed. Proper clothing and nets help as already stated.

    #3 Posted: 19/11/2007 - 21:12

  • Yun

    Joined Travelfish
    18th August, 2007
    Posts: 25

    Best website to read for any country is: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx

    To quote them:
    - Malaria risk area in 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 Samui, and Ko Phangan. (Updated September 19, 2007)

    - 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.

    For me, I'm spending 1 day in Angkor out of a 14 day trip. 4 weeks of antimalarials isn't worth the risk of 1 day. But it's up to you.

    If you "don't want to take any chances" then take the pills. Be aware that every one has potential side-effects, most commonly nausea and extra-sensitivity to sunlight (which is bad in these hot sunny places as you can imagine)

    #4 Posted: 23/11/2007 - 12:58

  • ChangFai

    Click here to learn more about ChangFai
    Joined Travelfish
    10th April, 2007
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 139

    Personally I have only taken anti malaria pills once , and they are not for me .

    All the advice above is good , but also think about taking some Vitamin B pills as well .

    I laughed this off for years as some old wives myth , but eventually I gave it a try and amazingly it worked for me .

    For the first time in my life I am not the one being attacked among my travelling companions , which I am highly enjoying .

    #5 Posted: 25/11/2007 - 12:43

  • Yun

    Joined Travelfish
    18th August, 2007
    Posts: 25

    ChangFai can you clarify - taking Vit B pills for what exactly; do you mean to help with antimalarial pill side effects, or do you mean to use them as antimalarials?

    #6 Posted: 25/11/2007 - 13:02

  • ChangFai

    Click here to learn more about ChangFai
    Joined Travelfish
    10th April, 2007
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 139

    Yun
    Neither , for some reason Mossies dont like the taste of Vitamin B1 . I have heard similar things said about Marmite .

    Now if you search around the net you will find studies saying yes it works and others saying its complete rubbish .

    Now I am still as skeptical as ever , but since taking B1 while travelling I have gone from someone that got attacked on a regular basis to not getting bitten at all .

    Who Knows ? , but I will continue to take them .

    #7 Posted: 27/11/2007 - 12:20

  • erinj

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd August, 2007
    Posts: 12

    Thanks for the replies :)

    #8 Posted: 29/11/2007 - 05:43

  • Canadiana20-
    07

    Joined Travelfish
    30th November, 2007
    Posts: 2

    p.s. the reason for the different dosages would be because the two Drs. prescribed different forms of the anti-malarials. One type you only need for one week after, a different type needs a full month after (I think we saw the Dr. 4 times about this before we left!)

    #9 Posted: 30/11/2007 - 20:13

  • thecanuck

    Joined Travelfish
    30th November, 2007
    Posts: 1

    Hi I spent 5 weeks in Thailand in 06, hired a driver and van, went from Chiang Mai, to Burma, Laos border, all around in the north, then drove all the way to Phuket, and never had a problem with any Malaria, none of our party even really got bit by mossies, so wouldn't recommend anti malaria pills, but as the other posters said, its your skin that will come off. Cheers D

    #10 Posted: 1/12/2007 - 12:12

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  • Guernseystu

    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2007
    Posts: 108

    I never take malaria pills, not because of any side-affects but because I just don't see them as being necessary. As has been suggested already a wee bit of common sense goes a long way so dress appropriately. Also, when sleeping, ensure that your room has either a mosquito net or a fan - one or both of these will really help to keep the mossies away.

    #11 Posted: 18/12/2007 - 15:41

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