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Malaria

Liverpool
8 posts
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Malaria

Hi, I am visiting Sabah in September and need advice about anti malarials. The guide books state that for urban and costal areas, none are needed, but as we will be going to the Kinabatangan River area, is it advisable to take anti malarials?

Thanksxx

Kuala Lumpur...
Destination Expert
for Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Hong Kong
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1. Re: Malaria

hi PinkEmma, I would advise taking the malaria inoculation before you come, and also take some malaria tablets and have the doctor's perscription with you as these tablets are only available in Malaysia on prescription.

Franschhoek, South...
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1,009 posts
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2. Re: Malaria

Hi PinkEmma

I've been into the interior of Sabah many times, have gone whitewater rafting, jungle trekking, etc. and have never taken anti-malaria medicine and have also never had malaria.

I have to confess though, I have also never been to the Kinabatang River area.

Not sure whether or not that was helpful.

Wangaratta...
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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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3. Re: Malaria

I always take anti malaria tablets when I go to Sabah as I tend to do tours away from the resorts and KK and visit off the beaten track places..

I suggest that if you are wandering from KK and resorts you should do so.

Better to be safe than sorry considering that malaria is so persistant and reoccuring.

Speak to your doctor.

Mine, in Australia, perscribes doxycycline. I have never suffered any side effects

Amsterdam
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1,096 posts
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4. Re: Malaria

MtK,

Malaria inoculation? Does such a thing exist? I only know the pills.

Pink Emma,

I am totally loathe to give (or take) any kind of medical advice on the internet. Recommending hotels or restaurants is one thing, the worst that can happen when you get wrong advice is that you’re sitting in a hotel that you don’t really like, but medical advice is fraught with grave dangers. (and you seem like a nice girl and I hate to inadvertantly kill you.. eeeeek)

The best advice I can give is go to your doctor or travel clinic and discuss the possibilities with the professionals. I am almost 99% sure they will recommend you take some kind of anti-malaria profilax.

However, and this is where it gets interesting…

Discuss with the professionals what happens should you not take an anti-malaria profilax, and somehow still end up contracting malaria. I had this discussion with my doctor and I opted NOT to take anti-malaria profilax (unless I’m going somewhere where malaria is very rife, like parts of Africa or India). My reasoning behind my decision was… the pills don’t stop you getting malaria, they just make sure you get a less dangerous form of it. Also, should you be unlucky enough to contract it, doctors in Malaysia are expert in spotting it and dealing with it (unlike the doctors here in Europe who rarely see it and often mis-diagnose). Also, if you do contract Malaria they treat it with higher doses of the same anti-malaria profilax you would have taken to avoid it.

On the whole I avoid the pills where I feel I can, and take extra precautions, like, long sleeves and trousers and a good spray with a high DEET content and I even invested in a mosquito net for the more remote locations with simple accomodations.

Note: bring your own DEET with you as it’s not available anywhere in Malaysia.

If you do take the pills, try to avoid larium, there are plenty of other alternative pills and larium has a history of quite sever side-effects. Your doc/ travel nurse can advise you better on this too.

Happy holidays,

M

Liverpool
8 posts
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5. Re: Malaria

Thank you all for your replies! I don't think I'll take the risk of contracting such a nasty disease. It seems Larium, Malarone and Doxycycline (an antibiotic) are all recommeneded for use aginst malaria in Sabah. Malarone has the least side effects...

Franschhoek, South...
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1,009 posts
26 reviews
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6. Re: Malaria

Hi PinkEmma,

For peace of mind, probably a good move.

I see Tourism Malaysia, on their website, "strongly recommend" Malaria tablets for visits to Sabah & Sarawak.

I live here now, so I will post if I contract Malaria to tell myself "I told you so".

7. Re: Malaria

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