Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya - Myanmar, Northern Vietnam, Southern Thailand
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Apr 11, 2013 1:53 AM Last Post By: Nicasio
Nov 29, 2012 11:22 AM
I'm posting about something that concerns me a great deal - contracting malaria, dengue fever, or chickungunya fever in Myanmar, Northern Vietnam and Southern Thailand. Considering I've already had all of these viruses, some of them twice (and have chronic issues related to them), I don't want to go through it again. Please let me know if I should be concerned about any of these illnesses in the following areas:
FYI - just in case you think I'm careless/irresponsible about my health, I am not - I lived in Madagascar for two years and vigilantly took Mefloquine every week, stayed indoors (and/or under a net) when mosquitos were at their worst, and generally took care of myself, but it didn't matter. I still got malaria, Dengue twice, and Chikungunya.
Thanks a bunch!!
Nov 29, 2012 11:41 AM
1Best to look at cdc website. From my experience Northern Vietnam in winter is very low risk. Myanmar has malaria but most tourist spots are again low risk esp. in winter, it gets quite cold at Bagan, Inle, I would watch out at places like Pindaya believe there is some there but probaly too cold in Dec/Jan. Not sure about Thailand but no malaria in BKK. Dengue is more of a worry, I would say more of a risk of catching it and it is mainly by daytime mossies. As for Chikungunya never heard of it. SEA is not like east Africa, I would certainly be taking Malarone there but for your route I would not, just my person advise, don't sue me.
Oh, I should add use deet based (30%) repellant and wear long sleeves, trousers and socks in evenings.
Edited by: Herbie47
Nov 29, 2012 11:48 AM
Nov 29, 2012 11:57 AM
3Really, I don't know if I have seen any dengue mossies, malaria ones are more after dark, they tend to be slow when cold, check the room before going to bed if no net and watch the bathroom they like to hang around there. Yes some areas are resistant to Larium which is why Malarone which is fairly new and most effective but espensive is advised or Doxy.. but watch side efffects esp. as you are female. Ive been to Cambodia/LAos and Myanmar the last 2 winters and really did not see many mossies even in hot areas like Cambodia, only time I got bitten a few times was in a homestay with a holey net. You will need a fleece or jumper, it goes cold at night, sometimes close to freezing, also if you go on buses at night the AC is cold..
Nov 29, 2012 12:14 PM
4Dengue mozzies are daytime mozzies I have had Dengue from an open squat loo in Indawgyyi lake Myanmar OK and nearly died cost me $ 23 at walk in centre mandalay for blood tests and also 2 visits etc only thing you can take for that is paracetamol to keep temperature down also 4 types of dengue and if you get 1 type you are immune from that one again BUT if you get another type you are more likely to dieas it hist immune system which says he's oK and he isnt and kills you lol
I was in East kalimantan trekking in Jungle at Kutai national park where dengiue was prevalent and I had not fully recovered at 40deg C sweating in jungle I covered myself ong jeans, jacket, woolly hat socks and even pair of socks over my handsetc head to foot and every 10 mins sprayed deet into my neck & face, still they swarmed over. I was so glad when that trek ended Ha! Ha!
as for Malarials yes but locals get it most as tourist areas not so prevalent and Gh have screens or mozzy nets ie Inle lake I have heard of locals getting Malaria I agree Mountain areas tend to be cold evenings so no mozzies or less mozzies as said, this is not Africa there I would rethink just take some ddet spray from Bangkok with you and wear long slacks and shirts evenings spray areas ie ankles and neck with deet. also where mozzies are they etnd to put coils under your tabele someone at pharmacy yesterday suggested tetree oil?
I have never had problem with other forms of Malarials in SEA despite plenty of moszzies present
Nov 29, 2012 1:25 PM
5Hmm. I am not feeling too confident about this... Malarone is wicked expensive and doxy is a serious pain - but ya, don't want to get sick.
Is my assumption that every "nice" hotel in areas that have Dengue/Malaria also have bed nets that are in good shape a bad one to make? Rather, should I assume this is not the case?
I had a terrible experience with my Dengue/Malaria as well - but Chikungunya was way worse to me. Got it in May 2006, still have issues from it.
Nov 29, 2012 5:26 PM
Nov 29, 2012 6:34 PM
7Well Bun_Cha, one could go to worse places. Imagine some poor soul in , say, Two Balls, Arkansas consulting an MD who can't even pronounce the names, but has a print-out from the Dept. of Health, written by someone who has never been to SE Asia. The good doctor is going to recommend every vaccine, pill, and poultice he can. Why? He doesn't want to get sued for malpractice should his former patient fall ill during his visit. No, we're not MDs, but a lot of our info is sound, if not professionally sanctioned.
Nov 29, 2012 8:07 PM
8Poultice? Two balls AK? I was in some little AK towns a month or two ago on the way to one of those forest trance parties somewhere in the mountains. Old Growth 4 it was called. Interesting times, but seriously, the OP reports a significant health history and current health issues related to several tropical diseases. Maybe she just wants to chat, in which case, here we all are.
I've been on a pie baking binge. Some really good ones.
Nov 29, 2012 11:15 PM
9Firstly, no doctor knows anything about Chikungunya- trust me. Secondly, the only thing any doc will tell me about Dengue considering my history is to avoid any area in which Dengue is present. That's why I've turned to this forum- to query people with on-the-ground knowledge of the current situation. If any of you were goin to Mananara Nord, Madagascar during the month of January, would you rather have a conversation with your GP (or even a tropical disease specialist), or someone who lived there for two years and has an intimate understanding of public health issues? I'd take the latter any day - their info is far more valuable.
Nov 29, 2012 11:50 PM
10I was trekking in Indonesia and was obviously bitten by all sorts before I had Dengue and thought I had malaria but as I was going home in 2 weks hung it out as I do not take travel Insurance lol
Back in Uk constant night rialgas (Sweats) etc went to Drs and then to Tropical disease unit tested all tropical diseases. and yet nothing nothing nothing but every day for three mths going down the pan until finally I was collapsing and rushed to hospital after 1 mth in hospital and through every machine imaginable and blood urine lumber punches allsorts. I really appreciated the UK NHS and Cameron wants it like the US system Ha! Ha! so he and his Hooray henrys can abuse it as they already do whilst it is now moving private insurance patients through the system and delaying NHS ones under the guise of NHS earning from Private patients its place in the market. GrrrrHHhh (OK rant over! just stop you and your freebie privateers from abusing our NHS along with press and TV that is becoming a fast extension to Murdochs Foxy news propaganda) finally they discovered it was not some tropical disease HIV or any other alien abomination but LUPUS and something must have triggered it on my travels. I have this year had a relapse and now on the verge of possible Chemo so cannot clear off this year to my beloved Burma.
As for Malarials leah_m
Trust me I'm not a Doctor!
I have never bothered in SEA and have seen the debilitating effects of antimalarials on people such that I think I'd rather the malaria Ha! Ha! Although it is prevalent in SEA it is not the African strain and unlike the recent Global chicken flu virus HN1 or whattever. It is rarely that tourists are affected by it
personally if visiting Africa I would rethink meanhwhile just tae a deet spray autan from any Bangkok pharmacy and if you should come down with anything Dr's are good in Burma nd often westerntrained ie the walk in centre around corner of royal Gh Mandalay where I went to Have my Dengue diagnosed $14 for blood tests etc etc etc They did want me to go Hospital but sorry not in Burma so I left and after spent time reading in my room on Koh Chang beach,
Frighteningly the only book on the shelf of the beach place was John Grisholms Testament where they all die of Malaria and dengue in Brazil
"Do Not Panic" (front cover of Hitchikers guide to universe) and have a great time you won't need antimalarials in SEA where you are going and just deet early evenings when mozzies present and make friends of Celtic peoples ie Irish Scots and Welsh mozzies love them so will leave you alone when with them OK
Nov 30, 2012 12:44 AM
11As I said malaria is very low risk in those places you are visiting. As for advise from medical people all they do is refer to a website (FFT) and they don't know anything about malaria, that site was years out of date a few years ago and they were subscribing the wrong anti-malaria pills, had to argue with them to get Malarone. As for text info. it has been updated but the maps are still wrong, just look at countries like Philippines and Ethiopia. Don't panic check cdc for latest info.
Malarone is expensive but most effective, few side effects, only have to take for 1 day before and 1 week after leaving risk are.
Edited by: Herbie47
Nov 30, 2012 4:16 AM
12"Firstly, no doctor knows anything about Chikungunya- trust me. Secondly, the only thing any doc will tell me about Dengue considering my history is to avoid any area in which Dengue is present."
Your firstly is just plain goofy.
Secondly, of course that's what any knowledgeable person would advise. Your health is already compromised secondary to tropical diseases and you're at high risk for dengue hemorrhagic fever and/or shock syndrome.
There is more error and ignorance in this thread than just about any one I've seen. But I think Leah, you've found a place that agrees with you. Have a nice trip.
Nov 30, 2012 5:50 AM
13I wouldnt trust that rogue ex Vietnam medic Bun Cha as far as I can throw him Ha! Ha! and in my condition trust me (and not trust the doctors) thats not far
I mean he directs me to a $20 GH in Munchkin mansions Kowloon (sounds better than Chungking Mansions) or (chundering mansions) and when I knocked them down to $12 they said US $ not HK $'s They said he was irresponsible and he should have warned me, fortunately the guy was so shocked that he gasped for air saying $20 you can't even stay in a dorm at travellers rest for less than that Ha! Ha! so I politely asked where this disgusting hostel was Ha! Ha! and he took me to the lifts first lifts on left as you enter bldg and on top floor should have known I would bargain there too for $60 HK = $7.5 US with coffee and toast breakfast included.
But I have forgiven him lol
TGIF Chas; just joking ;-))
for anyone going HK to travellers rest, take bus 21A from airport and driver will drop you off at the door
meanwhile Leah avoid the internet doctors advisory sites unless like some here you are a hypochondriac then you can take to your bed in the sound knowledge that are seriously ill and dying OK meanwhile get thee to Burma and sparingly spray a little deet now and again Have fun you will and after you will wonder what all the fuss was about. which is more than I can say for the costs in HK lol
Nov 30, 2012 12:26 PM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.24 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$112.12 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.21 per night