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Laos forum


Posted by zajets on 22/11/2008 at 07:16

I am trying to decide to take malarials or not for our 4week trip to Laos. Docter in Holland says: yes Malarone all the way (and 1 month beyond). I keep hearing that in Germany docter says no; bring a small dose and take it if you get ill (and go to hospital quickly). Any Germans here who can confirm this and link to incredibly reliable (German) websites with this info?
Because if the Germans think it is not neccesary to swallow the stuff, then we'll have no more discussion!

#1 zajets has been a member since 10/12/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by Rufus on 22/11/2008 at 08:19

Perhaps you might want to explain why Germans are the "font of all knowledge"? I would much prefer to listen to the doctor who manages the French clinic and the Australian who manages the Australian Embassy clinic, both of whom are specialists in tropical medicine.

No prophylactics - they are unnecessary and the side effects are not nice.

#2 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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Posted by exacto on 22/11/2008 at 11:18

yeah, what's up with the germans only thing? is there some special strain of mozzie that only bites people who live near the rhine?

either way, i agree with Rufus that those meds are not necessary and that the risks outweigh any potential benefit. plus, Rufus lives in Vientiane and has first-hand knowledge. AND he speaks German!

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Posted by somtam2000 on 22/11/2008 at 15:08 admin

Travelfish on need for malarials. Note, I am not German -- nor Dutch for that matter ;-)

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,931
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Posted by kahrani on 22/11/2008 at 16:29

I guess it depends on what you are going to do - if you are planning on spending a lot of time in rural areas, then I would err on the side of caution and take anti-malarials - if only because you will be far away from any medical facilities in the event you do contract malaria.

I subscribe to the 'prevention is better than cure' philosophy - side effects from tablets are better than dying from malaria after all. I've taken a couple of different anti-malarials (not Malarone tho)with no problem, and I'll be taking Doxy probably when I go to Laos next year. I think alot of the side effects with Doxy in particular come from people not taking them properly in the first place (ie with a glass of water and a meal, not with dairy products, not lying down for a while afterwards).

Also PLEASE make sure you cover up, use repellent, mozzie nets etc - Laos has an increase of Dengue fever for which there is no prophylaxis. Dengue is not nice, believe me I've had it.

#5 kahrani has been a member since 2/10/2008. Posts: 8

Posted by zajets on 22/11/2008 at 20:13

Thanks guys for the advice, although not German. I am not the only one who is impressed by the 'germans do not get malarials prescribed'-doctrine and I was curious if this is a myth or not... but I agree totally that first-hand advice is best and I thank you travelfishers for your endless patience & good work!

#6 zajets has been a member since 10/12/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by cellojoern on 23/11/2008 at 21:59

The Tropical Instituts of Berlin and Hamburg (Germany...) confirmed Malarone Standby for our 6-week Laos-Kambodia Travel.
But told us about the importance of "bite-prevention" by repellents, etc.

#7 cellojoern has been a member since 18/11/2008. Posts: 4

Posted by rossville69 on 25/11/2008 at 14:19

I've taken Malarone before and did not have any side-effects. I recently went to Laos and used Doxycycline (it is cheaper) - I agree with kahrani re. how to take it (after meal, with a big glass of water), thought the first few days I got somewhat nauseous, after it was OK.

I was hardly bitten at all in Laos; I was in the countryside for a while, but did not do any forest trekking. So I felt like it was a bit pointless having taken the doxy; however, I did feel a lot more safe.

Overall, I would say the risk is not very high, though it depends on the region (South is the worst). 2003 WHO report here:

#8 rossville69 has been a member since 8/11/2007. Posts: 15

Posted by Cocodrilo on 28/11/2008 at 15:06

Cover up and use mosquito repellent. Using all those anti-biotics will only make your body immune to them when you really need them.

#9 Cocodrilo has been a member since 17/7/2008. Posts: 5

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