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Malaria & anti-Malarials --> Do I really need them?

  • tatham

    Joined Travelfish
    10th May, 2010
    Location South Africa
    Posts: 8

    Hi everyone,

    I will be embarking on a much needed and anticipated trip of SEA (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and N. Thailand in particular) and am gradually working through my research.

    I am however split between taking anti-malarials (where needed), and not doing so. I am a South African and am only too familiar with the disease as I have done quite a bit of Africa travel. The general thinking amongst my friends and family is that the medication makes you feel sooo bad that you may as well be sick anyway. As such, we generally live by the credo: cure is better than prevention! As long as you are really vigilant for the signs of Malaria so you can take appropriate action.

    So -- I have read the various FAQ's on Malaria, but what is the general view of people who have been through these countries -- do you take them or do you just try and prevent getting it by covering up and using DEET?

    I do plan on getting off the beaten track a lot -- I am not kleen on being in the big cities all the time and quite like making trips into the rural areas, so you can assume that I will definitely be in Malaria-prone areas.

    I know it's a difficult one to answer, but I am more keen to hear wht other people have actually done.

    Thanks everyone!

    #1 Posted: 10/5/2010 - 22:43

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  • tatham

    Joined Travelfish
    10th May, 2010
    Location South Africa
    Posts: 8

    ... obviously "I am not kleen on being in the big cities" should read "I am not keen on being in the big cities"!

    #2 Posted: 10/5/2010 - 22:45

  • Indoluso

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 133

    I think that you should take them if you feel that while beeing there you'll get "paranoiac" about mosquitoes, then take it so that you'll be able to enjoy your trip. Personally I'll take them... If you decide to buy, I'd say go for Malarone as it's the most tolerated...

    #3 Posted: 10/5/2010 - 23:41

  • UpwardSpiral

    Joined Travelfish
    21st May, 2009
    Posts: 8

    don't do it! they are totally uneccesary and illogical; you can't prevent against everything by taking tablets, but you can by using mosquito spray! dengue is worse anyway :). those pills make you feel like **** anyhow.
    spray yourself and you'll be fine.

    #4 Posted: 11/5/2010 - 08:13

  • Archmichael

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd July, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 395
    Total reviews: 2

    I understand about checking with people on websites like TF about various facets of planned travel.

    But medical questions? Have you talked with a medical person in your home country (presumably SA)? I'd go with their recommendations first. Despite all the "you don't need it" proponents that will be found here and on other websites.

    Otherwise (with apologies to Clint E.): "...you've to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?" Well, do you?

    Just asking........

    #5 Posted: 12/5/2010 - 10:28

  • Archmichael

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd July, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 395
    Total reviews: 2

    Correct quote:

    "... you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya', punk?"

    Note: I'm not saying you're a punk.

    #6 Posted: 12/5/2010 - 10:31

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6043
    Total reviews: 10

    I took Mefloquine for two solid years when living in a malarial zone and it didn't bother me one bit. But I have known people that have had bad psychological reactions to it.

    I would say that while here, unless going to one of the few areas where malaria is very prevelent, I would skip it. If you enter a malarial zone (and much of Thailand is not) then just exercise due caution - no shorts, no sandals, long sleeve shirts.

    #7 Posted: 13/5/2010 - 00:26

  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 204
    Total reviews: 3

    Hi,
    Having had malaria a couple of times I have to say that it is far cheaper to treat than to prevent (at least at UK prices). I did take anti-malarial when traveling through Cambodia and they only cost a few hundred Baht in Thailand, as opposed to GBP 50 in the UK!

    As they are not too expensive the suggestion would be to try them and if you suffer no ill effects, then keep on taking them.

    However, if you decide not to take them then make sure you have the 'cure' with you and know what to do!
    mike

    #8 Posted: 15/5/2010 - 23:42

  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 204
    Total reviews: 3

    Hi,
    Having had malaria a couple of times I have to say that it is far cheaper to treat than to prevent (at least at UK prices). I did take anti-malarial when traveling through Cambodia and they only cost a few hundred Baht in Thailand, as opposed to GBP 50 in the UK!

    As they are not too expensive the suggestion would be to try them and if you suffer no ill effects, then keep on taking them.

    However, if you decide not to take them then make sure you have the 'cure' with you and know what to do!
    mike

    #9 Posted: 15/5/2010 - 23:42

  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 204
    Total reviews: 3

    Hi,
    Having had malaria a couple of times I have to say that it is far cheaper to treat than to prevent (at least at UK prices). I did take anti-malarial when traveling through Cambodia and they only cost a few hundred Baht in Thailand, as opposed to GBP 50 in the UK!

    As they are not too expensive the suggestion would be to try them and if you suffer no ill effects, then keep on taking them.

    However, if you decide not to take them then make sure you have the 'cure' with you and know what to do!
    mike

    #10 Posted: 15/5/2010 - 23:42

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  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 204
    Total reviews: 3

    Hi,
    Having had malaria a couple of times I have to say that it is far cheaper to treat than to prevent (at least at UK prices). I did take anti-malarial when traveling through Cambodia and they only cost a few hundred Baht in Thailand, as opposed to GBP 50 in the UK!

    As they are not too expensive the suggestion would be to try them and if you suffer no ill effects, then keep on taking them.

    However, if you decide not to take them then make sure you have the 'cure' with you and know what to do!
    mike

    #11 Posted: 15/5/2010 - 23:43

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