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Living in Bangalore, India for 12 months. How to handle Malaria?

Living in Bangalore, India for 12 months. How to handle Malaria?

Jan 1st, 2014, 11:22 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1
Living in Bangalore, India for 12 months. How to handle Malaria?

Hello,

My wife and I are moving to Bangalore, India for 12 months. We are meeting with a travel doctor this weekend, but we are curious about anecdotes for handling malaria over the medium term like this.

I assume that we will need to find drugs that we can buy over the counter in India rather than try to buy it all in the US.

Any experiences that people care to share?

Thanks
SorenDayton is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 02:12 AM
  #2  
rje
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 336
We went to Bangalore for a week as part of a business trip, and then explored Southern India, which is wonderful. That was several years ago, and at that time Bangalore was considered low-risk for malaria, but I have read that things have become worse since then.

Before we went, I found www.indiamike.com which is frequented by a lot of expats who can provide useful information. I asked some questions in one of their forums about logistics and transport, and received some valuable (and accurate) information. You could ask in the forums about how others have dealt with malaria and get some firsthand information.
Also, I just typed "malaria bangalore" into their searchbar and received 36,007 results.


The CDC Malaria Map Application might also be useful to look at:
http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/map/

There never seems to be a consensus about how to handle malaria, so be sure to discuss it thoroughly with your travel doctor. All the meds have pros and cons.
rje is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 03:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 51
Doctors in different countries prefer different malaria prophylactics. In Australia - doxycycline is usually preferred - it's an antibiotic which in small daily doses (100mg) is also an effective anti-malarial.

However - I doubt you'll even need malaria prophylaxis in metro Bangalore.

Other more pressing concerns might be chikungunya fever and typhoid. Rabies is a major threat everywhere in India, though again Bangalore may have good dog control in place.

Listen to your Travel Doctor - then research their recommendations yourself, colleagues already in place in Bangalore will be helpful. Travel doctors generalise (Bangalore is NOT typical of all of India). Sometimes they are over conservative (and 'intervention focused')!

Drugs are much, much cheaper in India than in any western countries - and rarely require a doctor's prescription. Pharmacies are readily accessible in all major cities and large towns.
obione980 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 09:46 AM
  #4  
rje
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 336
I would also have thought that Bangalore was safe. We didn't use any drugs when we were there, although we did carry "emergency meds" in case anything did go wrong.

But things may have changed. I've been reading accounts of an increasing malaria problem in places in India where it was thought to be gone. Bangalore is one of those places.

Here's one quote I just came across:

“Of late, the problem of malaria has resurfaced in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and other cities as well,” confirms Dr A.C. Dhariwal, director of the central government’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP). “That is why the government has a separate programme for urban malaria, with intensive coordination between civic bodies and hospitals to identify cases.” This programme lists Delhi, Faridabad, Baroda, Vijayawada, Chennai, Vellore and Bangalore among the high-risk towns for malaria.


If it were me taking my family to Bangalore right now, I wouldn't rely on the possibly dated malaria maps that Google turns up and older analysis, but would research the most up to date information possible.
rje is offline  
Apr 14th, 2014, 04:09 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I just returned from Bangalore and I had been taking anti malaria meds my doctor gave me. There was not an insect to be found, so I stopped taking the medication. My friend said, it is not a problem, because it is very dry there. Maybe in the rainy season there is more of a problem? I am wanting to return to volunteer in June, but need to know about the rainy season and malaria. That is in June/July/August. So, March/ April you should not have a problem, it is dry and in the 90's everyday and sunny. Smog was more my problem, burned eyes, and made my throat hurt.
cherylmorr is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 06:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,418
Ask your doctor (not a travel doctor) about the long term use of anti-malarials. There is a down side, most particularly with your liver. Not everyone can take the abuse. Also they are only about 80% effective, so in the off chance you do fall in the unfortunate 20%, it becomes very difficult to treat. I have lived in a malaria-risk area for 8 years and do not (cannot, would not) take prophylaxis for 8 years. I do not know of any expats who have been here longer than about 3 months who do. The risks outweigh the benefits when we think about long-term use. Please do discuss this with a tropical disease doctor.
offwego is offline  
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