Friday, August 21, 2009
Going to Dali and LIjiang in Yunnan -do I need malaria tablets?
I just realized that Yunnan is one of those places where you actually might need malaria tablets? Should I get some? I tried to google and some pages are saying ”bring!” while others are saying ”don't bother.” So I figured I would ask my very own google, namely you guys!! What do you reckon?
Posted by Jonna Wibelius at 8:02 PM
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Which places are you about to visit? I did Kunming-Dali-ShangriLa-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang-Kunming-Hekou last June and didn't hear anyone taking Malaria-pills. I started eating pills in Cambodia after going through Vietnam.
When I was in Iraq we were told that the area was prone to malaria and we were given these big pills. I'm not sure what they were anymore. They looked... weird. So, we watched one guy take one and about 10 minutes later he was puking up everything he'd eaten all day, so most of us just threw the pills away. They'd probably have caused PTSD or something weird anyway.
Sorry that's not really answering your question. ^_^
Going mainly to Dali and Lijiang... I went to Yunnan in May/june 2006 and back then I didn't take any tablets.. but I don't know if it depends on when during the year you are travelling?
Malarone is the type of malaria pill with the less side effects; they're a bit pricey. Your next option is Doxicycline. They're a lot less expensive but make you photosensitive. You just need to put on sunscreen. You can purchase the pills online or go to a local travel clinic, they should have it in stock.
That's what it was they tried to make us take. Doxycycline. Go figure. They wanted us to take a pill that would make us photosensitive and apparently sick in the middle of a desert and a war.
Hepatitis A shots might also be needed for your travel in China. Our pediatrician recommended our kids get Hepatitis A shots before we went on a vacation in the Caribbean a few years ago. We did. Two shots are needed and have to be spread out in about a year. Hep A shots are supposed to fence off any food-born bacteria and have become a required immunization routine in the U.S. for new babies. Adults are now getting it for traveling to places like China. China holds the record in the number of Hep A disease, even in big cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou. Northern China cities in general, like Beijing, have a lot lower percentage in Hep A cases. The cause of Hep A in China is largely food and weather induced.
Kanmuri, Brad and anonymous -thanks for sharing your knowledge on this.
Anonymous -when it comes to vaccinations I am all set. I have taken all the shots there is to take for both Hepatitis A and B, and I've also vaccinated myself against Japanese Brain Fever.
I went to South Africa and Zimbabwe a few years ago, both areas where you are recommended to take malaria pills outside of major metropolitan areas. I took them for a day or two and they made me quite sick, so I gave up and bought the best bug spray money could buy. Look for bug spray with Deet if possible. It smells terrible, but will keep all the bugs at bay and reduce the risk of any problems with malaria. And of course, don't drink unbottled water if you can help it.
i suggested a Chinese Medicine called 紅景天, this is really work when lastime i went to Tibet. you can buy from some medicine shops in China.
but sure, my experience is slow your pace and let time to adapt the changes is enough
I did not take malaria tablets when I went to Lijiang or Dali. I did not hear from anyone that I would need to take them
No, you definitely don't need to take any prophylaxis when going only to Lijiang and Dali. People in pharmacies in those places don't even know what Malaria is (we asked for emergency medicine because we were travelling to Laos as well). I guess it's something different when you go to Xishuangbanna, as it's really subtropical over there, but even then I would recommend you to take emergency medicine only.
Besides, my Chinese friends told me that Malaria has vanished from China about 20 years ago and that they really don't understand why all the tourists make such a fuss about it. They're probably right - unless you go to some really remote places, you'll be fine without any prophylaxis.
I never knew China had a malaria zone. If you go to a doctor in the west they will prescribe you with anti-malaria pills that can have nasty side effects and are also quite expensive. You also need to take start taking them a few weeks before your trip and after as well. Obviously the best thing is to take them if you can handle them and take physical care not to be bitten by mosquitoes.
A few years ago, my brother, I and two friends went traveling around West Africa. I was the only one who didn't take anti-malaria pills because I decided to go at the last minute and they wouldn't have been effective as I had to take them before the trip (extremely careless, I know). So I took great care not to be bitten. Out of all of us, my brother got malaria even though we were together and in the same places all the time. Thankfully, we were able to get treatment and he recovered but I have known a handful of people who have died from it. In Ghana alone something like a fifth of all children below 5 years die from it so it should be taken very seriously.
Always wear covered shoes, long pants, and a long sleeved t-shirt when outside at dusk/night. Buy some burning coils as well. If your accommodation doesn't have mosquito nets put the fan up to the highest setting or turn down the air con really low.
Whenever I come back to Europe from Africa I always carry the treatment for malaria with me just in case. It's called Plasmotrim/artesunate (the active ingredient actually comes from a chinese herb). Most of the people I know or heard of who died from it had returned home to Europe from Africa and the hospitals in their respective countries didn't know how to treat it properly.
I went to Yunan, Lijiang in the Sept/ oct period last year and didn't need malaria pills. None of the people we were travelling with took any either.
I did tiger leaping gorge, shangri la, lijiang, and assorted hiking in between and I was fine.
I personally never brought Malaria pills with me (I dont even know what they are), but I was just fine.
I honestly think you will be fine without it.
Thank you thank you thank you all of you for sharing your knowledge/ expertise/ experiences!
After reading your advices as well as some guide books I have decided not to take any malaria pills but rather just wear long pants during the night and bring a good mosquito repellent.
Thanks again guys!! You rock!
I am going to China Shanghai in end of september, wondering if I need to vaccinate vs the swine flu?
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