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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Old 2 Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by Melancholy67
Doxy can be 90% effective but the malaria parasite is very adaptable and there will be regions of the world where it has gained some resistance. Test it before you go. I have seen 2nd degree sunburn from some people who reacted to it.
Yes, doxy has the side effect that makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, but I have a little dark colour skin and I have never burned from the sun in my life. I have never used sun protector cream, neither sun glasses nor hats etc. Although this time I will carry a sun protector cream because I think it's essential if you use doxy.
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Old 4 Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by beddhist
As I wrote, I haven't tried it yet, but I think the tent floor is sufficiently strong to support the two poles. It doesn't have to withstand any storm, after all, unless I turn the ceiling fan on max.

Can't remember where we bought the net, some bazar somewhere.

We took free standing mossie nets to india.
They come in a bag about 300mm dia a nd have their own pop up frame work built in.A little bit bulky but they fold flat so there's no thickness to them.
Worked well.
Got them from the local outdoor shop.
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Old 23 Apr 2007
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Lomg term on doxy

Has anyone been on doxy for more than the max period of 4 months recommended? Any issues? And can Doxy be found easily in South America?

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Old 30 Apr 2007
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Malaria treatment

I have heard of people taking this long term. It has the advantage that its antibiotic so can prevent against GI infections but its used in the UK as a treatment for MRSA so in my mind i wouldn't want to risk making myself immune to it.

I used Larium for a year without any problems. If you going to react then it will usually be on taking the third tablet (week 3) so just start t in the UK before you leave to make sure

As for not taking any preventative treatment - its crazy. Malaria can/will kill you in a very unpleasant way if you are unlucky enough to contract the Falcipurum strain (found in africa), the other three strains do not kill but one of these you cannot always get rid of and will lie dormant for many years in the liver - NO THANKS!
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Old 11 May 2007
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Exclamation So.... are you a doctor???

Originally Posted by camps View Post
I'd say your best bet is not to take any preventative drugs, but to make yourself aware of what the exact symptoms are. Carry a self test kit or take drugs when you feel the symptoms coming on. It wont cause any damage.
I guess Mr. Camps here is a doctor. Or at least he thinks he is, giving medical
advice to people about a potentially deadly decease.
I find that very very &^$%#!!!

BMW.BEC is absolutely right. Some forms of malaria can kill you before you are
even aware that you have them.
Other forms are un cureable and will course 'flame-ups' for the rest of your
natural life.

Why do we have doctors? Then listen to them!

If you decide not to take any prophylaxis that is fine. But NEVER EVER tell
others to do the same if you are not qualified.


ps. Took Lariam for 40 weeks and I am not more screwed up then before that.
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Old 31 May 2007
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Firstlly, I am not condoning you risking your health by not taking antimalarial drugs. It is a personal consideration of risk, just like getting on a motorbike, going to distant countries, trusting strangers, hitch-hiking etc etc etc. Then best you can do is inform yourself from the experience of others, and make your own decision.

Going from Greece to India is not particularly malaria-prone. It is said that malaria exists in southern Iran, but I think you'd have to look pretty hard to find it. I worked in the south of India for some time, and half the people working with me (westerners) didn't bother with prophylaxis. Don't think I heard of anyone who knew of any cases of Malaria.


There is the always the risk . Personally (and embarking on the same trip), I am not taking anything. Lariam and Doxycycline are nasty , toxic chemicals, which are well described above. By taking antimalarials, you're giving your body a small, but significant dose of poison. Inherently, this too has risks, and side effects do not always manifest themselves in the short term. More practically If you're staying in hotels or hostels, you are not as exposed as when you are, say camping. You can buy cheap burning mosquito coils anywhere in India (they will always be the smell of Kerala to me), which are good. Take DEET repellant, and cover up in the evenings.

Make your own decision, it's just another risk you have to think of, like robbery, accidents, terrorism etc.
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Last edited by danielsprague; 31 May 2007 at 22:35.
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Old 31 Aug 2007
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What actually are the symptons to look out for. And if they show how long has one got to get treatment?
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Old 2 Sep 2007
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Very good and interesting debate. My travel doc. has recommended that I take Doxy for almost my entire 15 month RTW. I get a few drug breaks in Argentina/Chile and Europe of about a month each, so I won't be on it for more than 3 or 4 months at a time. A person doing an extended trip in a malaria place could CONSIDER drugs for the max time, then take a drug break, then head back on the meds, or switch it up. Less safe than being drugged all the time (or is it???) but safer than no prophylaxis.

I don't have a mossie net, but I'll be getting one when I feel I need it in mainland Mexico.

Always wondered why I couldn't use DEET on clothes. Now I know!


PS: Malaria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by Van Isle; 2 Sep 2007 at 21:58.
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Old 3 Sep 2007
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Exclamation malaria advice

I totally agree with Maarten! Who is this Camps to give such risky advice! Malaria kill 2 milion people per year and not only locals !!! It is as with the Indians in South America when the Spaniards arrived 500 years ago!
They had no defence whatsoever agains flu. The same applies for us whities, no defence against malaria. Don't listen to what expats tell you who are on standby. I f you have had malaria before the risk is less because your body knows what it is. Many expats have had malaria but even then standby can be considered as risky! Chances are you think you have a mild flu in stead of Malaria! then you missed your chance of effective treatment.

I have been on Lariam for more than a year and if you are not sensitive for the mental side effects (depressions, anxiaty etc) then Lariam is a wonderfull profilax. Why is it that Lariam can be used for a year and Malarone only for 28 days or maybe 3 months by exception!!

do be stupid, take profilax

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Old 19 Sep 2007
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Malaria Advice

There is an online magazine about Uganda that has a regular column written by a doctor based in Kampala.If you look in the past issues, (easily retievable from the website), there is an excellent 4 or five part series of articles dealing with Malaria.Well worth a read.
The Magazine address is www.theye.co.ug

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Old 19 Sep 2007
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something I posted a little while back....

this is a post that i sent a little while back to another thread also discussing malaria and meds....

My husband and I have both experienced malaria....whilst taking anit-malaria meds..........remember - no medication guarantees 100% effectiveness!
Malaria is a serous and is sometimes a fatal disease....and, at present, there is no vaccination against malaria.
it is true that sometimes the locals of a country may have 'some' in-built protection but there are more indigenous deaths due to malaria in Africa then of AIDS.

When travelling through Africa my husband and I took doxycycline as we required a medication for prolonged use. It was effective as we did not suffer from malaria whilst in Africa....but we were always using other precautions as well...ie spray, covering up etc.

However, whilst in South America we suffered two very bad attacks of malaria - whilst also taking doxy...(Strain- plasmodium vivax..the most common) This was however, not due to the lack of effectivenss due to the drug but to illness and vomiting which reduced the drugs ability to be effective! I was unable to reach other meds or a hospital for almost 2 weeks....during this time the situation just worsens. Once admitted I suffered temps of 42 degs....and things excreting from every orifice for 6 days...there is always a risk of coma in this scenario.

Self medication may work in very mild cases but this can be a killer and correct treatment should be sought. The parasites can remain in your liver for many months or even years before once again becoming active.....so you think your self-medication has worked.....it has usually just succeded in laying the parisites dormant for a while.

One option is to carry with you the tablets Cloroquine and Primaquine...both available abroad easily....but only via prescription in the UK. But you should always discuss proper usage of these meds with a doctor before-hand so you know how to adminster them correctly.
as mentioned above - there are side effects with taking doxycycline - but these are usually mild and in the form of sensitivity to sunlight on the skin...and often this is short term only.

We have now used doxycycline in all areas - high risk etc - for a period of 4 and half years on and off....

for more information on MALARIA PRECAUTIONS visite the site
fitfortravel home page
and for information on medications try the link for the same site.....

I hope this helps.....
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