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Delhi - February 2010 - anti-malarial meds

Delhi - February 2010 - anti-malarial meds

Jan 19th, 2010, 07:44 PM
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Delhi - February 2010 - anti-malarial meds

I have a prescription for anti-malarial meds. I'll be in Delhi and Aligarh January 29 - February 15, 2010. Can anyone give any advice as to whether I should take the meds? I've read that it has been quite cold in Delhi this winter - cold enough that there have been hundreds of deaths. Is it cold enough that I don't need to worry about the mosquitos?
CharlieCat is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 08:42 PM
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According to the Scottish National Health Service, those areas are considered low to no risk, and Malaria meds are not usually advised for any time of year, see http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/desti...laria-map.aspx and generally http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/home.aspx, or the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office also has a good one at http://www.nathnac.org/travel/index.htm. The UK basically invented tropical medicine, so they can be a good source of info. There is a WHO website, but their malaria page does not seem to be working today, at least not for me.

You may of course want to consult a doctor who specializes in tropical medicine, as your own GP is not likely to have any experience in it, and may just prescribe you the meds (and possibly not even the correct meds for the country you are going to) as that is the easier route.

As it is likely to be quite cold at dawn and dusk, when the few mosquitoes who may be still around from the summer monsoon are most active, you are likely to be covered up (not to mention more likely to be inside at those times) so chances of getting bitten would be quite low IMO. Therefore, you may just want to use mosquito repellent rather than taking the meds. I travel to India frequently and am never bothered by mosqitoes, and certainly not in north India in the winter.

I assume you have udated Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B (may not be enough time before your trip for these two), and all other routine childhood immunizations. You may want a flu shot and/or swine flu shot. I would also get a Polio booster, which would concern me more in India than Malaria.
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 10:34 PM
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I would add typhoid to the list of recommended immunizations. Waterborne diseases are a much more likely problem than malaria.
garybear is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 04:38 AM
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Actually, from my experience, India is not the pestilential cess-pit people imagine. It can be - but you need to consider just what you'll be doing while there. If you're flying in to Delhi, staying at Oberoi, zooming around with your car and driver sightseeing, living and eating upmarket, doing the traditional tourist things, then really, IMHO, you really don't need to burden your body with a drug onslaught before you begin.

If you are going as a volunteer for Mother Theresa and working in the slums, if you're planning a back-packer sojourn in $5.00 a night hotels and thinking of walking around the streets in flip-flops and shorts patting rabid dogs then that's a different matter.

Don't drink the water, don't eat street food, don't bathe in the Ganges and remember to wash your hands. No, you don't need anti-malarials.
dogster is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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1. Loads of people die every winter in India. Nothing new or noteworthy, sad but true. Indian homes are not heated and the street/shanty people have inadequate clothing for warmth. The deaths are often among those who are already ill, weak, or old.

2. Anti malaria meds for your purposes are not needed - my opinion only. I have been to India numerous times and unless you're camping out in the jungle or will be in the slums, you don't need to load up on meds and immunizations.

Typhoid and cholera vaccines are only effective in SOME people. They can give you a false sense of protection. You really just need to exercise good common sense when eating and drinking in India. Be picky where you eat and what you eat.
Jaya is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Yes, I am current on all the vaccinations mentioned. I received the vaccinations and boosters from a Travel Medicine Clinic. The clinic also gave me the malarone prescription but really it was a computer program that recommended it. They must have a database and any location that has cases of malaria must result in the recommendation. I think however that it doesn't take into account the season. My travel partner is from the area and she won't be on any medication. I'm not leaving until January 28, so I still have a few days to decide whether I will take the malarone or not.
CharlieCat is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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I think too that the Travel Clinics give everything that the computer tells them for a particular region regardless of what your individual plans are. In the US, they cover themselves legally by doing so.

I don't have any statistics, but I think the majority of tourists fare well in India. We'd hear about it if too many travellers were coming down with typhoid, cholera, malaria, etc. after a visit to India.

The biggest precaution I take is to prevent food borne illness.
Jaya is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 02:07 PM
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I took all the meds my travel clinic recommended. Didn't get sick either from the meds or the diseases. I read while in Delhi that over 800 individuals in Delhi had contracted dengue for which there is no vaccine so repellent is an excellent idea.

I did get bitten by a tick in 2003 in NC that I never saw or felt. I spent a month in the hospital. All it takes is one encounter.
indianapearl is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 02:53 PM
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I work in Travel Clinic, and not all clinics go just by the computer program. (Actually our computer program is pretty sophisticated, but we pride ourselves on recommending only what is necessary.) For India we vary our malaria recommendations depending on destination, city vs. rural, time of year, etc. At this time of year I would NOT be concerned about taking malaria pills for travel to Delhi and Aligarh. I would, however, be very consistent about using mosquito repellant -- your risk of Dengue Fever is much higher than malaria throughout the Indian subcontinent. Dengue mosquitos bite during the DAY.
skibumette is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 07:57 AM
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No, I wouldn't bother. Just use common sense and dawn and dusk but it is not the time of year.
shj is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Dengue Fever peaks around late summer (August/September).
Jaya is offline  
Feb 6th, 2010, 10:49 PM
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I took the Malaria pills for our visit in Northern India in Dec/Jan. It was $8 a pill; expensive as hell. The pills did not make me sick. I did get bitten by mosquitos a few times, especially in Udaipur, but for the most part I rarely saw a mosquito. You will probably be fine either way.
lisasiegel is offline  

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