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Cambodia forum

Malaria Tablets

Posted by elisak on 7/12/2006 at 19:22


Just wanted to know if only going to Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat do I need to take Malaria Tablets?

And do you need to take them in Vietnam?

#1 elisak has been a member since 18/7/2006. Posts: 4

Posted by steviej on 7/12/2006 at 22:29

Hi elisak,

According to:
much of Cambodia has a risk although Phnom Penh and onto the Mekong Delta the risk is reduced.

Malarone has been recommended for travel throughout South East Asia due to pockets if resistance to chloroquine and Mefloquine.

You'd be well advised to go and see your local GP (Doctor) before you head on out there...................... :-)


#2 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by elisak on 7/12/2006 at 22:50

Thanks for that, its all confusing cos some people say take them others say don't bother! Its just malarone is so bloody expensive, and we are not sure if we will just stick to the cities and then you don't need them!


#3 elisak has been a member since 18/7/2006. Posts: 4

Posted by steviej on 8/12/2006 at 00:28

It may well be expensive but the consequences could be dire.

Latest details point to around 70000 cases of Malaria in Cambodia alone (2003) and fatalities account for around 7% of that figure.

Like I said you really need to see your GP.............. :-)


#4 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/12/2006 at 08:50 admin

Hi elisak,

As steviej says, the best place to start for advice is your doctor.

That said, I'd say if you were just going to Angkor not to worry about malarials. You're far better off taking the usual precautions -- use DEET impregnated repellent, wear long pants and shirts at dusk, and, most importantly, use a mosquito net.

While the consequences of catching malaria can be dire, you should bear in mind that the vast majority of cases in Cambodia are in rural areas well away from medical care. Siem Reap is a large town, with quite good medical care (by Cambodia's standards).

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,575
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Posted by bunny on 10/12/2006 at 07:26

Hi Elisak!

We spent 2 months in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos this past summer. This was my first trip to Southeast Asia, and I, too, was puzzled about whether or not to do the wide variety of vaccines and pills that were recommended for travel to those areas. My hubby had been there before and had done a lot of the vaccines, but I hadn't. I ended up not taking malarials, or any of the vaccines, and I was (and still am!) fine.

I was very careful to always put bug spray on in the early evening, and keep it with me in my bag at all times for reapplication. For me, it was a risk worth taking, since I really did not want to put all those extra chemicals into my body. But that's just me, and I am in no way qualified to give medical advice!

Whatever you decide, good luck! ~bunny

#6 bunny has been a member since 2/7/2006. Posts: 13

Posted by elisak on 11/12/2006 at 16:32

Thanks Bunny!

That's helpful, I am not good with decisions and like you don't really want to take the pills! My boyfriend isn't going to bother with them but I couldn't really make my mind up, we are not going stomping through jungle and rural areas so I guess maybe I will risk it and just cover up!

Thanks for the advice!


#7 elisak has been a member since 18/7/2006. Posts: 4

Posted by steviej on 12/12/2006 at 02:29

Hi again,

Sorry to be 'UpFront' but your first port of call should really be your own Doctor, it doesn't hurt to enquire. S/he'll be able to answer all your fears & tribulations and assist in your decision; whatever it may be.

Forewarned is forearmed...............

stevie........ ;-)

#8 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by exacto on 12/12/2006 at 07:50

hi guys!

as steviej says, a trip to the doc to ask can't hurt (except your wallet maybe), but i wouldn't necessarily expect every doctor to have current info on the malaria situation in southeast asia. for some pretty good detailed info, check out this webpage on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at:

this will give specific info on where you may or may not need to take anti-malarials, and which one to take depending on which area you'll be visiting. it also suggests who should, and more importantly, who should not take these meds.

i would never be comfortable telling someone else if they should or should not take these drugs, because it is such a personal decision. but i'm quite comfy telling anyone who asks what i do. i don't and have never taken them. i've always felt that the risks from taking these types of meds outweigh the risk of catching malaria. in the six years i've lived in southeast Asia and the two decades i've been travelling there, i've never had a problem and never known anyone else who has had a problem either with malaria.

even if you were to take anti-malarials, you'll still want to follow the advice of Somtam and Bunny and others of covering up and using a liberal amount of a good bug spray to protect yourself. there are other mossie-borne diseases out there as well, including Japanese encephalitis.

elisak, just so you know, the CDC does state that there is malaria risk at the Angkor temple complex. in my two trips there, I took the Somtam/Bunny approach and used lots of bug juice and long sleeves.

i hope that helps. and as stevie says, ....... chill!

#9 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,657
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Posted by exacto on 12/12/2006 at 07:52


I meant to include the following too from the CDC on Malaria risk in Vietnam:

Vietnam: Rural areas, except no risk in the Red River Delta and the coastal plains north of Nha Trang. No risk in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, and Haiphong.


#10 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,657
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Posted by elisak on 12/12/2006 at 17:18

Hi Stevie

Thanks for your comments and I have actually been to my Doctor and to be perfectly honest he wasn't very helpful, and couldn't even tell me if there was a risk at Angkor Wat and I have had more advice from this web-site than my GP! He just wanted to know exactly where we were going which when you are travelling about you don't really know!


Thanks for your advice and help, I think I will go with yours and others advice and use the sprays and cover up, I just want to have a good holiday!!



#11 elisak has been a member since 18/7/2006. Posts: 4

Posted by ameria on 19/12/2006 at 11:40

hi elisa,
i was just reading your posting about malaria prevention and thought i should mention that for the 4 months i was in cambodia, i took a daily dose of doxycycline (an antibiotic) for malaria prevention. i also used bug spray (i like ben's) especially at sunset and in the early am to avoid dengue fever...
doxycycline is not expensive and has a good track record for preventing malaria... especially the type found in the mekong delta. i was scared of the side effects of some of the other drugs and so was very happy to have the option of taking a daily antibiotic. the one caveate is that you must then be very diligent about sunblock.
enjoy your travels!



#12 ameria has been a member since 19/12/2006. Posts: 1

Posted by amb257 on 14/2/2007 at 06:02

Hi all!

for anyone in the US who doesn't have a GP, or your GP's not helpful or too expensive, your state's Dept of Public Health should be a really great resource. They run public health clinics that have special travel nurses (at least here in Seattle), who are totally knowledgable and up-to-date about vaccines you need (and DON'T need) depending on where you're going, and they're not expensive like GPs either. they also have all kinds of other information about general travel health, and should be able to answer any and all questions you have.

i'm getting ready for a trip to Cambodia in march, and went ahead and got ALL of my immunizations updated. all in all it cost about $200 for the office visits and vaccines, boosters included (hep A & B combo, typhoid, tetanus, and anti-malarial). I know that might be a little high for some people, but the hep A & B and the typhoid are good for life. the anti-malarial (doxycyclene) was only $30 for 50 pills. I know having to take a pill every day can be annoying, but for me the peace of mind of being protected is way more important. the nurse also gave me a prescription for some anti-biotics, which i'm sure will be nice to have on hand should i need them...

Happy Trails!

- Anna

#13 amb257 has been a member since 9/2/2007. Posts: 3

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