When Traveling to different countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, etc. I've heard that there is the chance of getting Malaria and other diseases. As a newbie to travel, I want to make sure I'm staying in the right areas and taking the right precautions. Any advice on your experiences? Is this something I should be afraid of while traveling? Any and all advice is appreciated!
It's definitely a risk, and not something that I would want to downplay in any way however, when travelling through Thailand it was not something that was as big of a problem as I had expected. That being said, it depends on whether you are staying in developed areas or are going out into the mountains and small villages. We slept in rooms with A/C or fans for the most part and mosquito nets on the night we stayed with a hill tribe and did not take Malaria pills. We didn't meet many people who were taking them for regular backpacking travels through the country.
Before we left for Southeast Asia we went to a travel clinic and they provided a complete map of where malaria risk is in each country and how high a risk it is in each area. We were able to confirm our tentative route and how best to approach taking the pills.
Realize that there are a couple options and for some you must take the pills for an extended period of time and throughout your travels in the infected areas so you may want to plan accordingly with respect to itinerary as well as keeping the pills on hand.
There are a few other vaccines you may want to consider in those areas as well and the clinic should be able to help - e.g. Hep A & B, tetanus, typhoid fever vaccines, Dukoral.
SE Asia is an amazing place! Happy and safe travels and let us know if you have any questions about Thailand - we spent some time there and wrote a lot about it but have lots more information we haven't shared!
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Hi Nina, I lived in Sri Lanka 25 years of my life before moving to US. There is nothing to worry about Malaria in Sri Lanka. I'm sure there are Malaria cases reported in Sri Lanka but It should be rare these days. Only thing I can think of to prevent mosquito bites is to use mosquito net around (like a tent) your bed.
New stories claims that Malaria has been contained around the globe. What's alarming is the evolution of diseases, not only in SE Asia (dengue) but also in the Middle East (MERS COV).
If you're worried about mosquito bites, take necessary precaution before heading to your destination. Preventive shots & mosquito repellant are your best options.
Also, I've read that some food we eat can help attract mosquitoes, so I suggest reading up of them. some herbs help repel insect bites too.
enjoy your travels! :)
Hello I have travelled around South East Asia Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam for 2 months personally without being bothered by mosquitos, even though I was expecting them, and the potential Malaria that they transmit. That's my own experience. That being said I did contract Malaria while travelling and working in Ghana in Africa once and it was not a pleasant experience - down for 3 days but recovered. If you are a US traveller you can go to your doctor and ask for the common anti-malarial drugs Malarone or Lariam - they require a prescription. Malarone is taken daily, while Lariam is taken weekly but be aware that Lariam has the potential side effect that it can cause psychotic reactions in some people and I have seen it happen. Both drugs are somewhat expensive - around $5 per tablet so a preventative supply of tablets might be very costly. In most parts of the world, the locals use a Chinese discovered anti-malarial drug called "Artemisia" (or some derivative name like Artesunate or Artemisin). It is a very potent natural plant-derived anti-malarial drug preferred worldwide outside of western countries. However because it is derived from a natural plant, the US big pharmaceutical companies can't patent it and got it banned forcing you to buy their expensive synthetic alternatives. If you are visiting tropical countries where there might be malaria you might stop by a pharmacy/chemist shop and purchase a small supply of artemisin and keep it in your backpack "just in case", along with mosquito repellant, at least that's what I do myself. Mosquitoes generally only bit at night so if you're staying in hotels near the jungle areas find a hotel that has a mosquito net above the bed. Good luck and safe travels.
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Chances are better for you to contract Dengue rather than Malaria, especially if you'll be staying more in the cities and towns rather than in out on hikes into less populated areas.
Is Dengue better than Malaria? I don't know as I've never contracted either in the many years I've travelled around South East Asia, and I'm the number one mosquito attraction in any given area!
Take medication if you have confidence in your doctor or travel clinic's advice. Certainly put be religious about covering up and spray mosquito repellent at appropriate times.
Generally, Malaria and Dengue are considered deadly diseases for those who cannot afford medical treatment. This again, generally rules out most tourists. Accidents may happen right outside your doorstep whether at home or travelling. Make sure you take precautions. Just don't be so afraid to step outside!
I think malaria is almost destroyed in a lot country in Asia. Malaria is transmitted by a mosquito and those animals still a lot only in a few area in some period of the year only. So if you travelling to some remote area in the beginning and the end of the rainy season, just have a few precautions like using mosquito repellent in early morning and late of the evening if you get out of your hotel, if you stay in not a clean hotel or not a clean location always sleep in a mosquito net. There is another danger, nowadays in Asia, the dengue is also coming from the mosquito. Try to eat food with hot chili. Happy holidays
I've done quite a bit of traveling to areas where malaria is endemic and I would urge you to not be afraid, but to be wise. Certainly don't let it stop you! There are a number of different anti-malarial medications out there, and because I am not trained in medicine and don't even play a doctor on TV, I'd urge you to do some research and go to your travel clinic with questions. Some medications are more effective in certain parts of the world than others, and the side effects of certain medications are something to be reckoned with. All antimalarials need to be taken before you arrive in a malarial zone and for a period of time after you've left—some for a longer duration than others.
Be sure to go to the clinic well before you leave, as you'll likely need other vaccinations which have to be spread out over a period of weeks.
Beyond medication or if you decide not to use medication, you should carry a mosquito repellent lotion or spray. Mosquitos carry other diseases such as dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis and no anti-malarial is 100 percent effective, so the more you can do to shoo them away, the better.
If you're going to be out in the wilderness, wear long sleeves and pants as an extra precaution. Keep in mind that the little biters are certainly present in cities, too, and are most active at dawn and dusk. Make use of mosquito nets (almost all hotels will have them in your room, but you can bring your own just in case).
Malaria is endemic in certain parts ; consult a doctor for anti-malaria prescription. Additionally carry any anti-mosquito cream or lotion for local application