Deep breaths and gritted teeth all round ;-p
"misinformation in your posts (roaming yak) is too dangerous to other travelers to ignore."
- Please make it clear what you consider misinformation.
"Carrying a treatment dose in case you develop symptoms is a risky strategy, not least because you might take it when you have, for example, dengue and then not have it when you get malaria."
- You mean we shouldn't travel with any sort of cure like Coartem?! Many places in Africa won't have it, or it will be fake, so having your own supply is vital I would suggest. The NHS suggests the same: Emergency Treatment of Malaria - Fit For Travel
Or we shouldn't rely solely on this strategy? I travelled with 3 boxes of Coartem assuming I would give at least one away along the way. Agreed, its hard to judge when camping in the bush what a fever actually is, and local labs can be rudimentary at best. But I would say definitely travel with some of your own.
"One can take the drugs for longer than you will likely be in any one area as a traveler with no problems."
- That seems to be a blanket assertion that "the drugs" will never cause any medical problems no matter how long you take them? This is certainly not the advice I got from the NHS before leaving. Malorone was considered a bit 'untested' in this area I seem to remember.
"You said "None of the drugs prevent you from getting it, all they do is slow the symptoms down hopefully enough that you can get treatment. " This is not framed as a question--it's an assertion of fact, and it is not true. You may not like my calling this "masking symptoms," but that doesn't make your statement true."
Question: As Malorone is used as a treatment as well as the prevention, if a person was taking it for prevention, surely it would also help control/slow down the onset of fever/symptoms/Malaria in general? It provides some resistance?
The NHS says "The same antimalarial medicines used to prevent malaria can also be used to treat malaria" for example.
Malaria - Antimalarials - NHS Choices
If that is true, then to my untrained eye with my strange Kiwi logic, my statement seems to be true, but it was lazy to say "none of the drugs" as I don't know if this is true of them all.
"You said, "nothing will stop you from having Malaria anywhere near to 100%. Drug companies may claim otherwise!" You may consider this to mean something other than "Drug companies claim that their antimalarial formulation will prevent malaria 100% of the time...." but I don't."
- "anywhere near to" being the key phrase. Must be a cultural mismatch of language ;-)
"You said, "doctors will always say to take something...." I said, ""Not all doctors recommend taking antimalarials all of the time..." I said that because I've consulted doctors on more than one occasion who recommended not taking anti-malarials. The fact that you haven't had this experience does not mean that "doctors will always say to take something." Your statement is untrue."
- Agreed, it was a slightly lazy blanket statement. I was trying to convey that the default western medical opinion is that you should take drugs to prevent Malaria. This seems also to be the general consensus of posters here?
I offered my own opinion, which is to prevent bites, carry a cure and not take any drugs, which I stand behind as a valid option, especially for a long trip.
There may be cases where the likely risks and the side effects don't balance, but from my experience the discussions start off with 'what drug would be most suitable' rather than 'shall we discuss malaria' which to me is strongly implying you should take something, its just a question of what, hence my statement.
Anyway, lets hope we all end up in a hospital ward in Congo one day in a fever to discuss it further ;-p