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Malaria pills, yes/no??

New York, NY
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Malaria pills, yes/no??

We will be in Vietnam this November, visiting Saigon (with a day trip to the Mekong Delta) and Hanoi (with 2 days on Halong Bay). Also a few days in Hong Kong, 12 day total trip.

Based on our itinerary, would you recommend going on anti-malaria meds?? I know malaria is a serious illness and not to be messed with but i'd like to avoid the cost and the side effects if possible.

Yes, I spoke with my doctor and he said to take it. But he also said to get shots for polio, rabies and tetanus so i'm wondering if he's being a little too cautious.

Can someone who is local or who has been to the areas recently tell me about the prevalence of malaria in these areas in November?? What did/do you do?


Edited: 30 August 2012, 19:22
Pattaya, Thailand
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for Pattaya, Ho Chi Minh City
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1. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

Well never took one in 10 + years. :)

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2. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

The main risk is in land, and even then not a high one. Hanoi, Halong Bay are no risk areas and HCM is not on the list. Just wear spray with deer and cover up in the high risk times. We go tomorrow and are not taking anything...doctors hav to tell you to cover themselves, but ultimately it's your decision.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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3. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

No.... All they will do is not make you feel quite right. Malaria instances are almost non existent in the areas that you will most likely be traveling. Just bring a deet based repellant and keep you legs out from under table cloths where mozzis love to hide in the day.



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4. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

At the Travel Clinic today they told me you really only need them for Laos but not Viet Nam. You do not need them for Hong Kong.

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5. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

We have never taken malaria tablets but always use a geed insect repellent.

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6. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

Malaria is not the issue in Vietnam. It's Dengue Fever that you need to be more worried about. Dengue mosquitoes are active during the day as well as the usual early evening, so you need a good repellent applied regularly throughout the day and night. Dengue is far more widespread in Vietnam than Malaria, even in the cities, and there's no cure for it.

But if you cover up and use repellent as others have also suggested, you avoid the bites of both Dengue and Malarial mosquitoes.

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

The Travel Clinic at Kaiser Permanente recommended them for the delta region, where my wife still has family. Having said that, her family of 12 grew up in My Tho and none ever contracted malaria. I guess your mileage may vary. You may want to take a look at the CDC web site. Here is the link for Vietnam that explains the current advisories:



8. Re: Malaria pills, yes/no??

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