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Malaria pills and innoculations for China

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Sep 19th, 2011, 07:43 PM
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Malaria pills and innoculations for China

Hi all,
We will be travelling to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, and the Yangtze River in November. Is it advisable to take malaria pills? I have read conflicting answers with respect to Guilin and the Yangtze. Also, are there any other recommended innoculations other than typhoid and hepititis? Thanks.
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Sep 20th, 2011, 04:56 AM
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www.cdc.gov
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Oct 1st, 2011, 03:10 PM
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We just got our Typhoid and first Twinrix (Hep A&B combined)shots yesterday for our trip Nov 30 to China. If you have not already started the Hep A&B series you will need to do the 'accelerated' schedule at 0, 7, and 21-30 days before your trip, and then again at six months to ensure lifetime coverage.

We have decided to take the malaria pills because of the Yangtze river portion of our trip. We start them one week before our trip, each week during our trip and then for four weeks after returning home.
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 05:41 PM
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We just re-upped on the typhoid and elected for the four tablet dose rather than the shot. Five years protection rather than two and about two thirds the cost.
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Oct 7th, 2011, 09:35 PM
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The travel clinic where I work doesn't usually recommend malaria pills for Yangtze river cruises; they take place east of the red risk area on crellston's map. But that recommendation might change if you have underlying health issues or are especially risk averse. Do use insect repellant there, especially at/after sunset. If you are sleeping in Guilin, you should be fine there without malaria pills in that area; again, insect repellant is a good idea.

For other innoculations, just make sure your Tetanus Diphtheria is up-to-date, preferably with the newer Tdap that includes a Pertussis (Whooping Cough) booster.
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Oct 8th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destin...sia/china.html

Unless in very rural areas in the south usually no pills for

me. Biggest risk is Travellers Diarrhea #1 cause of disability

Food water precautions a must along with some antibiotics etc.

just in case. Happy Travels!
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Oct 18th, 2011, 02:14 AM
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It is best to consult your doctor than a travel website. I have never taken malaria tablets nor do I know anybody who has for a trip in China (and I live there most of the year). Normally hap A and B up to date is ok but better consult.
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Oct 18th, 2011, 02:08 PM
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Unfortunately my doctor is absolutely clueless about the vaccines for China. I have had to do all the research myself. The Yangtze river portion of our trip goes from Yichang to Chongqing. Is that considered east of the risk area? Even the health dept where we are getting our Hep A&B and Typhoid shots just looks at the CDC website.

The malaria pills will be $400 for the two of us, so unless they are absolutely necessary we will probably skip them. Just wary of taking something every single day. I really do not want to deal with side effects during the trip.

We will be going the first week of December, so not much skin showing then. I really am on the fence on this and have no where else to turn to but here. Any help would be appreciated.

Also, my understanding to avoid stomach problems is to avoid anything uncooked. So, cooked vegees are good but unpeeled fruit is bad. And bottled water only, even to brush teeth? Any other tips you have would be appreciated also. Thanks.
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Oct 18th, 2011, 02:21 PM
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We did not take malaria pills for the Yangtze cruise from Chongqing to Yichang, based on the advice of our university based travel clinic.

Enjoy your trip. (We took a similar trip. You can read details here: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...on-our-own.cfm )
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Oct 18th, 2011, 03:51 PM
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Thanks Marija. We discussed it again and are leaning towards not taking them unless we have some proof that they really are necessary.
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Oct 21st, 2011, 10:40 AM
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<<>>

Not necessarily. I was always told that unpeeled fruit was actually okay, if you peel it. I ate fruit without peeling it but I'm probably not the best example for that sort of thing.

One of the best ways to remember to not drink the tap water is to put a washcloth over the handle to the tap. When you reach for the tap, you see the washcloth and remember not to do that. I kept a bottle of water next to the sink so that I had an additional reminder.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Good tip Iowa_Redhead about the washcloth. I plan to peel the fruit just to be safe.
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Oct 23rd, 2011, 01:39 PM
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In our group of 10, the only people who got sick were those who ate unpeeled fruit. Hardly definitive, but anecdotal nonetheless.

I put a glass over the faucet or handle of the sink. Not all hotels had facecloths, but they all had glasses. Believe me jetlagged or middle of the night, your instincts kick in and you'll want the reminder, no matter how blatant it seems.
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Oct 23rd, 2011, 02:13 PM
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Yeah, I think it's a great idea. We're bringing wash clothes so now I just have to remember to do it!
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Oct 23rd, 2011, 03:24 PM
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I am limited in the pills and inoculations I can use because of my "interesting" blood. For example, I cannot have live vaccines such as the yellow fever vaccine. Unfortunately I like to wander through countries with mosquito-vector diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever and malaria.

In addition to any meds I can take, I use a lateral approach attempting to limit the possibility of mosquito bites.

In mosquito-prone areas I wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt and long trousers. In tropical climates they can be lightweight and baggy, but I still try to cover as much skin as possible despite the warm climate.

I prepare for the day with a light skin lotion to all exposed areas. That acts as a base for the other applications. If I am likely to be out in the sun I then add an spf30+ (or higher) sun blocker. Then I add a thin coat of 80% DEET for the bugs. That initial skin lotion coat is essential to minimise any harm to the skin from the strong DEET. I am particularly careful to coat the earlobes, back of the neck and other areas out of sight where the mosquitoes might land for a while and suck away un-noticed.

That may sound like overkill. It adds an extra five minutes to my morning preparations. Whether you want to do it is up to you. It has worked for me in Cambodia, India, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and several other mosquito vector regions so I'll continue to do it in China too.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
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Oct 23rd, 2011, 03:31 PM
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"In our group of 10, the only people who got sick were those who ate unpeeled fruit. Hardly definitive, but anecdotal nonetheless."

I accept that I'm going to get at least one touch of the traveller's curse on each long trip. The only time I've been near China was Hong Kong, where I was silly enough to eat an apple. I washed it, but I didn't peel it. Big mistake. I spent the following morning in the loo.

My standard rule, which I broke that time, is to avoid ALL fruit and vegetables unless they are overcooked or I peel them myself. That also means I never eat fresh salads when I travel. Think of it this way: you have no idea whether the workers in the fields had porta-loos at harvest time. Think of that before you munch on your lettuce or coleslaw or tomatoes in foreign lands.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
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Oct 24th, 2011, 08:46 AM
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Thanks Alan, I don't think the lotion routine is overkill at all. In fact I think it might help with the damage the mosquito repellent does to my face. During a week long backpacking trip we had to use mosquito repellent daily. My face was like shoe leather by the time we got home. I was horrified and it took over a week to soften up. Ick. I really like to idea of lotion first then repellent. Thanks again. Michele
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Oct 24th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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Glad I could help. I use a vitamin-E based cream, but your own favourite lotion should do the job. At times when my own ran out the cheap stuff provided by many hotels will do as a temporary measure.

I use Bushman 80% DEET. A very small amount on my fingertips goes a very long way and the lotion also helps to spread it on evenly.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
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Born Under a Wandering Star http://loraltravel.blogspot.com
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Oct 24th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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Alan, there is no reason to be using a repellant that is 80% deet. Once you get beyond about 33% you are not getting any additional protection, just exposing your skin to an irritant.

Higher percentages of deet (say 30% rather than 12%) simply makes it effective longer, but not more effective.
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