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Vietnam forum

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

Posted by tatham on 10/5/2010 at 22:43

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 tatham has been a member since 10/5/2010. Location: South Africa. Posts: 8

Posted by tatham on 10/5/2010 at 22:45

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

#2 tatham has been a member since 10/5/2010. Location: South Africa. Posts: 8


Posted by Indoluso on 10/5/2010 at 23:41

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 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133

Posted by UpwardSpiral on 11/5/2010 at 08:13

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 UpwardSpiral has been a member since 21/5/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by Archmichael on 12/5/2010 at 10:28

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 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by Archmichael on 12/5/2010 at 10:31

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 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by MADMAC on 13/5/2010 at 00:26

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 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by mikethediver on 15/5/2010 at 23:42

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 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
 Website 

Posted by mikethediver on 15/5/2010 at 23:42

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 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
 Website 

Posted by mikethediver on 15/5/2010 at 23:42

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 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
 Website 

Posted by mikethediver on 15/5/2010 at 23:43

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 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
 Website 


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