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Malaria Meds In India
Old 01-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
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Malaria Meds In India

Going to mostly northern India in February, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi (will go down to the Ganges), Kolkata. CDSCC advises taking malaria meds. Anyone who has been there have a comment on the necessity for the malaria Meds? Seems like overkill to me but don't want to get malaria.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #2
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Doctor gave me take some as well. Didn't get malaria but glad I was protected. I was also given some antibiotics to take with me which I was glad I had. I was very careful with food and drink, but needed the antibiotics anyway. I'd do it again if I went back.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:33 PM   #3
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DW takes Malarone every time she goes to India (once or twice a year). Why take the risk? There is already so much you can bring back from India - like giardia.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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Take it and keep safe please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Going to mostly northern India in February, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi (will go down to the Ganges), Kolkata. CDSCC advises taking malaria meds. Anyone who has been there have a comment on the necessity for the malaria Meds? Seems like overkill to me but don't want to get malaria.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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Take it and keep safe please.
+1

I've been to India on business and would not dream of not taking anti malaria medicine. I once spent 3 days in hospital after a trip abroad (not India) and the infectious diseases doctor said I had classic symptoms of malaria. I didn't have it but I now know a little of how it feels to have it.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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Have had malaria twice, no fun but a great way to lose weight.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:36 PM   #7
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Strongly recommend it. I typically fall sick when I travel to the tropics. Often because of water and food. Mosquito bites are too common in too many parts of India. Of course, a very tiny percentage are carriers of malaria, but still. A sibling got malaria in India years ago and it took forever to recover.

Hopefully you will not miss the Kumbh Mela (Jan-Feb this year, once in 12 years). DH went to the last one, I am seeing if we can swing a plan for it soon.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:58 AM   #8
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I spend roughly 1/2 my year in 3rd world, tropical environments, and have never had malaria.

Either i'm incredibly lucky, or the pills are incredibly effective. I'd reco malarone to avoid some of the unusual side effects some others might present. And always, always, always bring 2 full courses of cipro with you. Please make sure you visit a travel clinic before you go and get the appropriate round of immunizations to avoid something you can't cure with pills as well.

Your first stop in country should be to a grocery store, where you buy a full case of bottled water (trust me, you'll need it). Packaged alcohol swaps (hand wipe types) are also very, very useful as is a bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer. I'd also get a roll of toilet paper to carry with you at all times 8-)

Enjoy the adventure - i love it!
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:34 AM   #9
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I would carefully research this page:

Health Information for Travelers to India - Travelers' Health - CDC

and also some other sources. Probably a bigger risk than malaria today in most countries is Dengue Fever, which is a total reversal from a generation ago. The only way to prevent Dengue is try to prevent mosquito bites in urban areas.

Many people have side effects from the various anti-malarial medications. I was traveling with a friend in Burma, and she had to stop taking Doxycycline because it made her very sensitive to sunlight and her fair skin turned a scary red. All of the various meds have side effects and each person is affected differently. I took Mefloquine (Larium) before without any problems, but it gives a fair number of people nightmares. Also, you need to start taking your meds before arrival and for some time afterwards, according to the directions. If you get bothersome side effects, just stop taking them and try to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible and avoid vulnerable situations.

Sometimes, when studying sources like the CDC, it is hard to get a sense of the *level* of danger. As an example, I seem to recall that a traveler is an order of magnitude more likely to get Yellow Fever in endemic areas in Africa than in South America, even though it is labeled as endemic on both areas and I had to dig to ascertain this information.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:21 AM   #10
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Hopefully you will not miss the Kumbh Mela (Jan-Feb this year, once in 12 years). DH went to the last one, I am seeing if we can swing a plan for it soon.
On our way in a few days, various parts of India, Bhutan & Nepal but specificly the Kumbh Mela. Since we will be wading in the Ganges it makes mosquito contact more likely.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:42 AM   #11
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yakers, were you the one that inquired about this trip last year? Do report back!
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:57 AM   #12
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I had classic symptoms of malaria. I didn't have it but I now know a little of how it feels to have it.
I went overland through the ME, Pakistan, India/Ceylon in 1963, and periodically, (every few years or so), have a recurrence of what I suspect might be malaria, but have never been able to verify it.*

It starts with an overwhelming urge to stretch every bone in my body, then progresses to saturated sheets from sweating, thence to uncontrollable shivers.

*A few years ago, in Ottawa, I visited a walk-in clinic while in the aftermath stage, (can't go anywhere while it's happening), and consulted with a doctor originally from India who, from his experiences there, said it sounded like malaria.........blood tests were run but nothing was identified, (which, from researching, I've found is not uncommon...numerous tests can be run before getting a positive hit).
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:43 AM   #13
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Freelance writer in Washington, D.C., gets Dengue on trip to Cambodia and writes about the experience:

My bout with dengue fever - The Washington Post

This is far more likely to happen to a tourist than Malaria.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:51 PM   #14
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I went overland through the ME, Pakistan, India/Ceylon in 1963, and periodically, (every few years or so), have a recurrence of what I suspect might be malaria, but have never been able to verify it.*

It starts with an overwhelming urge to stretch every bone in my body, then progresses to saturated sheets from sweating, thence to uncontrollable shivers.

*A few years ago, in Ottawa, I visited a walk-in clinic while in the aftermath stage, (can't go anywhere while it's happening), and consulted with a doctor originally from India who, from his experiences there, said it sounded like malaria.........blood tests were run but nothing was identified, (which, from researching, I've found is not uncommon...numerous tests can be run before getting a positive hit).

Fortunately for me it has never happened again, so I'm fairly sure I am clear as it has been almost 10 years now. Just reading your symptoms puts a shiver down my spine.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:17 AM   #15
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I went to India many years ago. I was given Fansidar to take. When I got back I was told that it would not prevent malaria--nothing would--it just suppressed the symptoms. I also learned that where I was, the malaria was not treatable. Fortunately it was not the season and I left without any problems. Ain't going back.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #16
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I always take doxycycline (never been to india though). It can give you some sensitivity to sun, but it seemed the best imo if you can remember to take your pills before and after your travel. OF course, it was always on relatively short business trips (1-2 weeks) and I was rarely outside except for an afternoon at the beach if staying over the weekend.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:14 PM   #17
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I was born in India and have visited/toured there a few times. Definitely take the malaria meds. Also make sure you are up to date on the other recommended preventive vaccines (notably typhoid, but also a tetanus booster if you're due, and a polio booster if you've never had one as an adult).

After that, relax and enjoy the trip - it sounds amazing and I'm a more than a little jealous!
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:26 PM   #18
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I took Mefloquine for a few months while traveling in Africa and India. I do think they made me have extra-vivid dreams, but I enjoyed that side effect.

I recommend you take some medicine like Mefloquine, but pay attention to possible side effects. Read up about the side effects and pay attention if you think you are having a reaction. USA Military take Mefloquine and there is a theory that a tiny percentage have a bad reaction to this medication and that has resulted in murder and suicides.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #19
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Just coming out of a (relatively) mild attack.......yesterday morning went down to do an elliptical workout........felt great.....at around the 28 minute mark it hit.

Shivers, followed by sweats, (or perhaps it was the other way round...I was so out of it).......couldn't walk the approximately 12-15 feet to the can, (my wife, who at 5'1" and 105 lbs, and 65lbs lighter than me, had to try and steady me).......had to sit down to pee.

Last night she said it was like lying next to a furnace in bed.

Still feel like crap today, (haven't been able to venture downstairs), but it's a higher grade of crap than yesterday.

This too shall pass.
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