a VirtualTourist member from Singapore
do you need to take malaria pills or insect repelent will do?
I only saw a few Mosquitos in Phan Thiet. I didn't use any repellent there. Most warnings I've read from WHO mention malaria is a concern in the highlands. Dengue Fever is more of a concern around the Mekong Delta, even Saigon. Maybe you can do some Internet research on WHO about the warnings for the places you will visit. Malaria pills have some strong side affects with certain people but there is a more recent anti-malaria pill that is tolerated much better. Can't remember the name but I think a 3 week supply is about70 USD. Your doctor can provide better advice on this. I've lived in Saigon for two years and have not seen one case of Dengue fever, but that for sure does not mean it can't be contracted. The city does spray districts at certain times of the year where there is much stagnant water and chances of Mosquito larvae and they do warn citizens fequently about stagnant water. I think the little geckos everywhere do a good job controlling the Mosquito population. Just a personal observation, not fact.
I haven't used Malaria pills in the last two years I've lived here. Memories of the side affects are still with me from 40 years ago when I was here. I'm not a fatalist but I would take them if go the mountains for more than a week. That's illogical because Malaria borne mosquitos may not agree with my time frame. So, I guess we all make our own priorities.
Mosquitoes, Malaria and Dengue Fever.
This is a question that appears quite a lot here on VT.
You will hear from people who never take any kind of medication.
You will hear from those who do.
May I suggest that you contact your own doctor, practice nurse or travel clinic and ask for their advice?
If they recommend that you use some form of medication, get them to recommend the treatment.
You may find that some treatments you make you ill, if so, ask the doctor for an alternative.
Different anti malaria medication effects different people in different ways, what is good for one person is not always good for another. You won't know this until you have tried a particular medicine.
Also you must remember that any anti malaria treatment MUST start before you reach the country you are visiting.
At present, there is no cure for Dengue Fever.
Unlike the mosquitoes that cause malaria, dengue mosquitoes bite during the day.
Is prevention better than the cure?
Of course it is.
DEET based products are the most effective way of repelling mosquitoes.
Available in different forms and strengths, users should always read the instructions carefully
“I will only be there 3 or 4 days, do I really need to take the medicine”
It does not matter, if it is an infected area, 3 or 4 minutes is all it takes to get Malaria.
Either way, you can return from your holiday with some great photographs, a sun tan and good memories or in a body bag.
The choice is yours.
True fact: - Malaria has killed more than half the people who have EVER lived.
This reply may appear to be a little melodramatic and over the top.
IT IS MEANT TO BE.
Too much irresponsible and bad information is given out over forums regarding the mosquito and its potential to kill.
Malaria is not in Mui Ne, according to most doctors overseas you should be taking, but all stats here say different. That said if you are planning to go anywhere inland or of the beaten track then i would. Dengue fever is a much bigger problem so make sure you have very effective repelent, especially early morning and sun set
BEWARE - READ ON!!!
Recently spent a month in Vietnam, going to out of the way places. In the past 3 years been all over SE Asia.
For the places most people go, Malaria isn't a problem.
One thing I don't do is take prophalactics for Malaria. Only an idiot, or a drug company stooge would do that.
But, if you want to poison your body, so be it!!
Instead, make sure you have enough supply of Malarone (12 tabs) with you (read the literature). Don't rely on other options!
If you get either a fever &/or a solid headache (but not a hangover), then:
1/. get a blood test to confirm ASAP, &/or
2/. if there is no access to blood testing, then start taking Malarone as prescribed (usually 4 per hit with food over 3 days).
As mentioned Dengue is a problem still, number of friends have got it even in Saigon. So if you start to get a fever/chills/headache get to a doctor quickly to get a test as it would probably be dengue rather than malaria.
Lots of repelant, especially morning and evening is the best (only) precaution
So can you explain what happened to VT member kingafreespirit, she did not take any precautions and she died with malaria.
My answer is a guide only, you should do your own research as to whether there is a risk in the country you are visiting. If there is a risk, albeit small, you have to make your own choice, after all it is your life you are putting at risk. Nearly every country in the World has the mosquito but only a few have the potential to kill.