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Malaria

Kent
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58 posts
20 reviews
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Malaria

Hi all

Off to Senegambia Beach early December first time to The Gambia and cant wait !!

However, have heard conflicting opinions regarding taking anti malaria pills

Some say essential, others that they are not necessary, others that it depends on the time of year you go !!

Any advice much appreciated x

Ascot
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1,773 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: Malaria

If you do a search you'll find loads of other threads on this subject. Personally, I've never taken anti-malarials but use a very effective insect repellent, Soffell which only costs about 75 Dalasis in TG, and lasts weeks even though I use it every day. My experience is that people can get lulled into a false sense of security and catch malaria even though they take the anti-malarials, so my advice is to stop the buggers biting you in the first place. If you want to take anti-malarials as a second line of defence then fine but they are not 100% effective.

Accrington, Lancs
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342 posts
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2. Re: Malaria

I certainly wouldn't risk not taking the tablets. The strain of Malaria in The Gambia is a killer and you really wouldn't want to get it. I take lariam and also use a repellent. I also spray the room before we go out at night.

Please don't take the risk, it can take ages to get a diagnosis in England should you be unlucky and the delay could cost you your health if not your life.

Diaz x

South Yorkshire...
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4,446 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Malaria

As Paul says it is a personal choice. It is very likely you will get bitten as some people are mossie magnets and some will tell you they don't because they use whatever and some will swear that taking garlic or vitamin B etc work wonders. Even if you do take tablets you can still get malaria some time later. The majority of tourists do take them though but check out the possible side effects and check with your GP or practice nurse first. There are far fewer mossies around in December than now.

If you know what to look out for in symptoms and get a blood test a.s.a.p then you could be OK if you get treated straight away if you have it.

New Milton, United...
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780 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Malaria

Hi, not taking anti malarials is IMO madness. Malaria is a threat all year round in TG and can be fatal. Anti malarials work by helping to suppress the rapid multiplication of the malaria protozoa if you get infected, they do not prevent malaria at all, but give you a head start in being cured if you receive the right treatment once diagnosed. As mentioned in the previous posts, bite prevention is very important, but don't rely on this alone.

Rgds

Ascot
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1,773 posts
24 reviews
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5. Re: Malaria

The insect repellant is not my only safeguard. I often wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers (never shorts) in the evenings depending on expected prevalence, and also ensure I have an apartment with protective mesh and carry gaffer tape to repair any holes, BOP the room on going out, and if I have any suspicion that a mozzie is in the room, will sleep inside a duvet cover which I carry as a precaution. A net is probably a better option, but most rooms don't have them.. ;0)

I also find that if there is a mozzie in the room a good way to kill them at night is to have all lights off, then switch on the bathroom light which attracts them into the bathroom to meet their demise !!!! ;0))

Edited: 18 August 2014, 18:18
North Wales
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558 posts
117 reviews
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6. Re: Malaria

My advice is you must take anti-malarials! We (my wife and I) both took Malarone on our last trip, January this year and my wife still got Malaria! We sprayed the room, used deet and took the Malarone correctly and she still got it. She was feeling ill so we went to the pharmacy opposite the checkpoint and after a blood test (200 Dalasi) it was confirmed. Frightened us half to death. The pharmacist sold us various boxes of drugs, about £40 in total and 3 days later she was almost right again. Don't take the chance, the threat of Malaria is very real, don't get complacent. Anyone not taking anti-malarials is playing Russian Roulette.

Ascot
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1,773 posts
24 reviews
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7. Re: Malaria

So Curryisforlife, you state to people that they must take them but also give clear evidence that they don't always work. This emphasises my point that they lull people into a false sense of security. I also know a person that took them and got malaria. I never take the tablets but am far from complacent.

Bristol, United...
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8. Re: Malaria

Curryisforlife,

You were Conned, Injection in a Pharmacy, can't remember it was 150 D For 3 Injection or each One.

Over 2 Days..!! Then Your Cleared..

Newcastle
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1,201 posts
17 reviews
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9. Re: Malaria

If you dont take the malaria tablets and you catch it it...Youve only got yourself to blame. Doxycicline is effective, cheap, has few side effects and also covers you against some tummy bugs.

A few years ago I was talking to a girl who lost her husband in TG to malaria.. He was a Navy Diver, fit as a lop, got bitten at the beginning of the week and was dead by Thursday..scared the crap out of me...

Ascot
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1,773 posts
24 reviews
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10. Re: Malaria

Bill,

Doxycycline is an antibiotic so there are many potential side-effects. I would never take an antibiotic as a prophylactic, but only if I was seriously ill. Antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria in the gut which can cause longterm digestive problems amongst others, but also antibiotic resistance may build up, so that when you really need their help later in life they will be useless.

Edited: 18 August 2014, 22:01