Further to the last post re antimalarial tablets, I contributed explaining that my GP Nurse had advised it wasn't necessary WELL.... this advice is indeed wrong!
I was at the pharmacy yesterday evening picking up my daughters Hep A dose injection and the pharmacist asked me if the nurse had given me antimalarial tabs. I told him what I was informed and as he knows my GP surgery very well, he said he was going to have 'a word' (a bit of a go at them actually) as it is definite - you do need them.
He showed me a vacs list from the national travel & health authority which was dated for October 2005 and under the DR it states that you have to have antimalarial drugs. It advised one called chlory.....(something or another-cant remember the full name) apparently no side effects with this one.
I explained to the pharmacist that the GP had said it was only if I was travelling through the rainforest areas, etc... but he advised this also includes day trip excursions which I may go on (outback safari trips, etc...) he also said to not take any risk and to get the tabs on monday when my daughter goes back for her Hep A injection. He mentioned, it would only take one mosquito bite from one carrying malaria to catch it! And repellant wont warden off every mosquito. If any of you have ever seen someone infected with malaria you probably wouldn't think twice about taking them (my mum contracted this disease years ago whilst in Brazil - not a pretty sight believe me)!
For my daughter, he mentioned a liquid as he said the tabs are extremely bitter and in his experience it is very hard to get children to take them.
He stated the following also, which I thought I would note for those who are unaware;
1. Tabs to be started 7 days prior to trip (possibly due to when I'm leaving).
2. Tabs to be taken every day and in my case of a 15 day stint, altogether my course should run for 7 weeks from date of commencing them.
3. On arrival back to the UK, absolutely MUST continue these until course is finished. If you don't finish the whole course its as good as not even taking them in the first place so this is extremely important as otherwise, the infection could develop. (similar to in the case of antibiotics, etc... must always run the full course).
First warning signs of malaria after returning home are extreme flu like symptoms. If in doubt, get yourself checked out!
I hope that this helps and I'm assuming although I'm here in the UK, this info would be the same for all.
Also - my lovely pharmacist advised the following info which I thought I'd note below. Many of you are probably all aware of it but hey, some of you may not be and he said it will just assist in preventing stomach/sickness problems whilst away;
1. The most obvious - do not drink the water and again, as others mentioned here, brush your teeth with bottled water and keep your mouth shut in the shower! lol... Also, be weary especially on day trips of having ice in your drinks as it may not have been made with purified water but resorts normally are okay.
2. Recommended to stay away from eating salads, fruit, etc... as you do not know what they were washed in. Again, the water issue.
3. Recommended again to eat hot food rather then food that been sitting around or maybe slightly cooled down and to ensure the food IS hot when eating. Basically common sense with regards to seeing hygiene levels in places where you eat.
4. He did say that I'd probably be alright as I've travelled to so many countries and eaten locals foods and drank their water so would have built up good immunity however, still better prevent then cure!
Pharmacist also stated that in the event of developing sickness/stomach problems best things to do are as follows;
1. Drink plenty of fluids, stay away from alcohol, fizzy drinks and definitely don't drink milk.
2. Gave me Diarolyte however, also stated that in case the children don't drink it if you buy a bottle of fizzy drink and let it go flat prior to drinking it, basically this acts exactly the same as your diarolytes, immodium, etc... and is much cheaper way to do it and again, easier to get the kids to drink it. He said these medications that we buy in the pharmacy's and spend alot of money on are basically this, flat fizzy drinks!
I do hope this info assists in any way. I do not mean to cause any scaremongering however, its always good to be informed of these things.
Other then that, chill and have a fantastic time as I plan to do!