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How To Stop Worrying and Love Malaria

An-DAn-D Registered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I'm going down to Sanya in Southern China, and apparently malaria is a thing down there.

I've looked up some stuff on how to avoid it and I was wondering if people had tips so...y'know, I don't die or get malaria or whatever.

Like, drinking tonic water. Does that help? Should I just lather myself with bug spray before I go outside? Is it even a problem at this time of year (its warm there, but its technically winter)?

So, not getting malaria. How do I do that?

An-D on
"Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn't a waste of time. I think that's something very close to immortality"
-Stephen King


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Posts

  • Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User
    edited February 2011
    http://www.cdc.gov/MALARIA/

    http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/index.html

    eta - They also have a number you can call if you have further questions. 770-488-7788

    "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." - Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Take your antimalarials religiously. That will help with some forms of it.

  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    hasnt your doctor given you the massive antimalarial horse pills yet? if not you should go inquire about them

    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
  • An-DAn-D Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Take your antimalarials religiously. That will help with some forms of it.

    Are those easy to find? Do I need a prescription? I'm sure I've been in malaria-zones before, but this is the first time I've seen a warning about it when I was looking up a place I was visiting - so obviously I got a little 'Uh...maybe I should educate myself a bit.'

    I'm only going to be in Sanya for 5-6 days. Should I bother myself with it? I've heard the antimalarial drugs mess you up when you first start taking them.

    "Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn't a waste of time. I think that's something very close to immortality"
    -Stephen King


    Photobooth ; My Website ; My China Blog ; Twitter ; Steam ; O4E Sci-Fi RPG
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Option #1

    go to a doc and get the pills. Take pills.

    Option #2

    Make time machine and engineer yourself to have sickle cell anemia.


    Yes, tonic water contains Quinine which helps against malaria, however I don't know if it has a high enough quantity in it to matter. Plus, I think it is only something that treats symptoms, not a preventative.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User
    edited February 2011
    An-D wrote: »
    Take your antimalarials religiously. That will help with some forms of it.

    Are those easy to find? Do I need a prescription? I'm sure I've been in malaria-zones before, but this is the first time I've seen a warning about it when I was looking up a place I was visiting - so obviously I got a little 'Uh...maybe I should educate myself a bit.'

    I'm only going to be in Sanya for 5-6 days. Should I bother myself with it? I've heard the antimalarial drugs mess you up when you first start taking them.

    http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/drugs.html

    "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." - Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Don't get bit by mosquitos. Use general mosquito avoidance techniques like using bug spray and wearing long pants / shirts. Sleep under a mosquito net.

    If it's not the wet season there won't be a lot of mosquitos.

    If you're really worried, take antimalarials.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • ZoolanderZoolander Registered User
    edited February 2011
    I currently work 2-3 months at a time in a malaria-risk area. The anti-malarial pill of choice is Malarone. It's a ridiculously expensive pill that you take once a day. You have to take it every day for a couple weeks before and after your trip for it to have the full effect. Some people have bad side effects, some people don't. There are also some other cheaper weekly pills that apparently have worse side effects.

    Personally, I've never taken a pill for malaria. I don't find the cost and risk of daily side-effects worth it for a disease that is quite curable for someone with western levels of money. I know that there are hospitals here that cater to foreigners that can treat it in the worst case scenario that I catch it. Malaria mosquitoes are only active during the night. I sleep in a closed-off house with air-conditioning on and I wear a long-sleeved shirt when sleeping. This is enough prevention for me and none of the expats I've talked to here about the subject take the pills either.

    Whether you take the malaria pills or not, you should find a travel specialist doctor. These doctors are well-versed in tropical diseases and associated vaccines and medicines. If your vaccinations aren't up to par, they will give you the vaccinations and boosters as required. They will also prescribe you antibiotics for when you have horrible diarrhea and shit like that. I took all the vaccinations the doctor recommended and bought all the antibiotics and such, but said no thanks to the anti-malarial pills.

  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Modern day tonic water won't do anything for malaria. Back in the day it had much higher levels of quinine, which was the original treatment for malaria. You might be able to get straight quinine from a pharmacy, but you are better off talking to a physician that has some experience with parasites and getting some real advice on whats available these days.

    midshipman.jpg
  • useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    An-D wrote: »
    So, I'm going down to Sanya in Southern China, and apparently malaria is a thing down there.

    I've looked up some stuff on how to avoid it and I was wondering if people had tips so...y'know, I don't die or get malaria or whatever.

    Like, drinking tonic water. Does that help? Should I just lather myself with bug spray before I go outside? Is it even a problem at this time of year (its warm there, but its technically winter)?

    So, not getting malaria. How do I do that?

    Remember Malaria pills only lighten the symptoms if caught, not prevent malaria. Even with the pills in your system you will be out of commission for a long while and feel like death if you have it. It can take up to ten years to have it manifest if you get it now.

    Word of warning: I have been on this before (over three year period on and off) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mefloquine Weirdly they are leaving out the bits about the most horrific realistic and completely unshakable night mares you get on this medicine. Avoid this one but take Doxy.

  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Quinine isn't going to do anything anymore. It has been overused to the point of being useless. The malaria parasite is very good at developing drug resistance.

    Animal Crossing: City Folk Lissa in Filmore 3179-9580-0076
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I got Malaria.

    No big.
    Spoiler:

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I've heard the side effects are not even worth the risk if you have access to medical in affected countries. And kistra is right, don't even bother with quinine.

  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    doxycycline also fights acne!

    thats what they made me take for my acne

    and then when i went to india i didnt take the once a week malaria pills that my parents did because i was on that....

    | Steam & XBL: Shazkar | 3DS: 3110-5421-3843 | SS Wishlists |
  • Mortal SkyMortal Sky FONOTUNE Electric FairytaleRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I lived in Tanzania for a year and never personally managed to get malarial symptoms, but everyone else I know did. Not sure how that happened. Anyways, I was either on Malarone or Doxycycline. All I remember is that it's not the one that fucks with your brain. And yes you can get malaria from a week long stay in some particularly bad areas. I don't know how prevalent it is in China, but it's probably worth using the pills.

    Kochikens wrote: »
    oh man I saw an otter with a boner at the seattle one and this kid asked his dad, IS HE EATING A HOT DOG
    and I laughed forever
  • useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Malkor wrote: »
    I got Malaria.

    No big.
    Spoiler:

    Had you had the pills?

  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Malkor wrote: »
    I got Malaria.

    No big.
    Spoiler:

    Did they just not know what it was?

    I've had malaria more than nine times, and the symtpoms and treatment are pretty much the same; helluva headache (right near the base of the skull at first, then spreads outward), really high fever and terrible hallucinatory dreams.

    You go to the doc, they do a blood test, and put you on pills. Two, three days later you're good enough to get back to things. If you leave it untreated (like a week or two) things can get pretty bad, but I doubt the OP is getting lost in the jungle away from western medicine anytime soon so theres not much to worry about. (If you are lost in the jungle, strong quinine tea is probably your best shot at lasting until you get to civilization.)

    Mostly it's mosquitoes. Anopheles mosquitoes, the primary carriers, actually have a different sound to them (higher, kind of keening) than other mosquitoes. You'll become aware of that particular pitch if you live long enough in the area. Always use a mosquito net, follow the typical bug spray advice, and practice good health and food prep habits. If you're in a place where it's common, other things are probably common too.

    Far over malaria, I'd get a hepititis shot- that shit is just as easy to catch and will take you down for a long time, several weeks at the least.

    Edcrab wrote: »
    "See," said Lucifer, "God's an asshole."
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    A friend of mine got malaria. He was in the hospital for a week. Not everyone gets over malaria as easy as an ear infection.

  • finralfinral Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    For such a short trip, I wouldn't do the pills. My general strategy was to cover myself in as much deet filled insect repellent as possible and to cover up with mosquito netting at night. Worked great for me. Also, you could carry around those mosquito coils you burn to keep them away.

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Sarcastro wrote: »
    Malkor wrote: »
    I got Malaria.

    No big.
    Spoiler:

    Did they just not know what it was?

    I've had malaria more than nine times, and the symtpoms and treatment are pretty much the same; helluva headache (right near the base of the skull at first, then spreads outward), really high fever and terrible hallucinatory dreams.

    You go to the doc, they do a blood test, and put you on pills. Two, three days later you're good enough to get back to things. If you leave it untreated (like a week or two) things can get pretty bad, but I doubt the OP is getting lost in the jungle away from western medicine anytime soon so theres not much to worry about. (If you are lost in the jungle, strong quinine tea is probably your best shot at lasting until you get to civilization.)

    Mostly it's mosquitoes. Anopheles mosquitoes, the primary carriers, actually have a different sound to them (higher, kind of keening) than other mosquitoes. You'll become aware of that particular pitch if you live long enough in the area. Always use a mosquito net, follow the typical bug spray advice, and practice good health and food prep habits. If you're in a place where it's common, other things are probably common too.

    Far over malaria, I'd get a hepititis shot- that shit is just as easy to catch and will take you down for a long time, several weeks at the least.

    Well I was seven, and I was the first case of Malaria Yale New Haven Hospital had in decades, and probably the only one they've had since.

    I vaguely remember all the med students and residents visiting me at all hours of the day the entire time, but mostly I remember Abraham Lincoln being incredibly worried about the Princess Bride.

    TAKE THE PIIIILS

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • DusT_HounDDusT_HounD Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I've been to malaria- risk areas on three occasions, and took the pills each time, probably Malarone, i think, but i don't remember too well. It was a daily tablet, taken for a short period before travel, then for a shorter period after returning. Side effects: zero, as long as taken correctly, i.e. after food. If not, you get the most horrific diarrhoea and intestinal cramps. I only did that once.

  • useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    DusT_HounD wrote: »
    I've been to malaria- risk areas on three occasions, and took the pills each time, probably Malarone, i think, but i don't remember too well. It was a daily tablet, taken for a short period before travel, then for a shorter period after returning. Side effects: zero, as long as taken correctly, i.e. after food. If not, you get the most horrific diarrhoea and intestinal cramps. I only did that once.

    each pill is different.
    for example meflaquin isn't used by the Marines anymore because they had a tendency to come home and kill their family. no shit. Of course some parts of the Government and Student Organizations still use it.

  • DusT_HounDDusT_HounD Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    That's true- the first time i was travelling was just when info on mefloquine's psychological side-effects was coming into the general public's consciousness, so i specifically asked my doc not to prescribe me that one.

    Ah, just checked- it was Malarone (Atovaquone + proguanil) that i took.

  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I went to Ghana for 3 weeks a while back. The pills are the way to go, it really isn't a big deal. That and just wear long clothes like pants or long sleeve shirts. Everybody is basically already saying the same thing. Pills pills pills.

    Also, some people had crazy dreams while on the pills. I didn't, but it apparently is a side-effect.

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  • SneakertSneakert Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Just use a mosquito-net and deet bug spray, also wear long pants. You should be fine. Taking the pills is way overkill for a week-stay and can make you feel really bad.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    An-D wrote: »
    So, I'm going down to Sanya in Southern China, and apparently malaria is a thing down there.

    I've looked up some stuff on how to avoid it and I was wondering if people had tips so...y'know, I don't die or get malaria or whatever.

    Like, drinking tonic water. Does that help? Should I just lather myself with bug spray before I go outside? Is it even a problem at this time of year (its warm there, but its technically winter)?

    So, not getting malaria. How do I do that?

    See a doctor and get a prescription for prophylactic antibiotics, wear insect repellent with DEET and avoid areas with standing water. Stay out of the jungle (unless that is the point of your visit, in which case good luck!).

    I went to Africa on deployment and these are the exact precautions the Navy took. No one got malaria. YMMV.

  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Malarone is awesome. I would have to take it a couple of days before the trip and for about a week after. No side effects, nothing. My sister on one trip decided to get the cheap pills (even though my Dad was paying) and was really ill until my parents raided their stash of malarone (apparently if you haven't been taking it for a short trip it can also be used to treat malaria or something. I don't know, they live in Rwanda so don't take anti-malaria medication).

    Take the pills. I also remember reading a lot of stuff that suggested that getting malaria can lead to symptoms not unlike ME/CFS, which would suck.

  • MrIamMeMrIamMe Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I get the dreams, and general feeling of nausea.

    Its not fun.

    Still better than malaria.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I stayed about 400km from where you are going to and had no problem with it and neither did anyone that I was staying with.

    It's really whether or not you want to take your pills, if you are going to have an active time there, it's not the best idea because the tablets can have bad side effects.

  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    As everyone else has said already, take the pills.

    I'd also second the recommendation for long trousers and long-sleeved shirts, if you can manage with them in the heat. If not, make sure to cover yourself in insect repellent. The one place you forget will be the one where you get bitten.

    Also, depending on the facilities where you are, you may get a mosquito net, usually tied ii a bundle above the bed, or already hanging down over it. Check that there are no mosquitos in the net, that there are no holes in the net, and then Use The Net (as it is generally impractical to wear long trousers and shirts to bed).

    Resist the temptation not ot bother with the medication; I was in Kenya for ten years, and stopped taking the pills after a couple of years. Mosquito bites and malaria followed. As others have posted above, Malaria is not fun. It gets into your system, and doesn't really like to leave. It makes you feel absolutely, truly awful.

    My dose was particularly bad, and I couldn't even pull myself out of bed for about a week, most of which I spent hallucinating; this is a disease that millions of people die of every year, and one which many western medical establishments (given your short turnaround) may have difficulty diagnosing in a good timeframe. Don't mess about with it, and just take the pills - in your case, it's not for too long, and the prophylactic benefits far outweigh the minor inconvenience.

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  • Beren39Beren39 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There's pros and cons to the medication, if it was me I would still take it, malaria can follow you for a long time even with intensive treatment, it depends on the person. A family friend contracted P.vivax and had flare ups for years afterwards since vivax embeds itself within liver cells and will periodically cross into the bloodstream again.

    Go, Go, EXCALIBUR! - Trent Varsity Swim Team 2009, better watch out for me Phelps!
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