Preparing for Sri Lanka with kids

Old Jun 4th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Preparing for Sri Lanka with kids

Hi..I'm holidaying in Sri Lanka for 2 weeks with my wife and 2 young kids, 5 and 3 years old.

The health recommendation sites I've visited on the web recommend that we all get malaria prophylaxis before going.

For those in Sri Lanka now or those who have visited recently, would you agree ? I know it's probably safer to do so but am just concerned about the side-effects of the drugs (hallucination,psychosis, nightnmares) especially for my young kids.

I'm not sure how severe the malaria risk is in Sri Lanka.

We are traveling thru Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Yala and Uduwalawe parks, Tangalle, Mirissa, Galle, Negombo and Bentota.


Eric_Bal is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2011, 05:15 PM
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"hallucination,psychosis, nightmares" are side effects of only one anti-malarial: Larium (melfoquine). I expect neither you nor your children would opt to use that anti-malarial. Some areas, but not all areas of Sri Lanka are malarial risk. We took Malarone when we were there in 2007. Malerone is the newest anti-malairla and has the fewest side effects. They make Malarone in child-size doses if you and your doctor decide it is prudent to take anti-malarials.

This is a question you should be asking your travel medicine professional. Also, make sure all of you have appropriate immunizations.
Kathie is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Like Kathie I took Malarone while I was in Sri Lanka. I did once try Larium, and stopped after just one pill, but I have no side effects from taking Malarone over an extended period.

When I first started traveling in Asia I located a travel clinic (associated with a nearby university hospital) and got all my inoculations up-to-date.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2011, 10:14 PM
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All good advice from Kathie and thursdays.

Whilst I do not profess to be a medical professional, I have had malaria once and am a little paranoid about repeating the experience!

I visited SL for a month in Feb this year and, as usual I consulted my doctor for advice on prophylaxis and was advised tha NONE was required unless visiting the far north. The standard reference for the NHS in the UK is which is one of the most up to date in the world.

Different drugs are require for different parts of the world and I have tried all of them at one time or another. The only side effect I have ever had was with Larium which gave me very vivid dreams. You clearly need to be very careful with children and side effects. The best place to get reliable information is from a doctor specialising in tropical medicine.

Whatever you decide use sprays copiuosly day and night (the only way to be 100% sure is not to get bitten) and make sure all vaccinations are up to date.
crellston is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2011, 12:06 AM
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Hi Eric,

Our family of four visited Sri Lanka and did a very similar tour to what you are planning.

Although Malaria should be taken very seriously I think the situation in Sri Lanka has gotten much better in the last few years. We decided against taking Malaria prophylactic medication as we judged the side effects to be too much for us and the kids. I have had experience with most anti malaria medication and seen people get it even when on drugs... This means that even if you take the drugs you never have complete peace of mind.

We opted for being very careful not to get bitten by mosquitoes and were quite successful in that. Try to cover your body as much as possible and USE SOCKS. Spraying your bedroom is always a good idea as well as using repellents on your body. Taking a box of smoking coils might come in handy for outdoor use. Most good hotels have a spraying program and we only got bitten in Galle where apparently there is no risk of Malaria. Kandy and the cultural triangle is the area you need to be more careful from the areas you are visiting.

We had a great time in Sri Lanka and I have written a small travelogue on our vacation. You can see it at:

Alecos is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2011, 06:41 AM
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You dont need to take Malaria tablets. They haven't has malaris in the areas you are travelling to in over a decade. Concentrate on prevention ie. Jungle Juice, Mosi Coils etc...
kateglover is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2011, 07:26 AM
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@kateglover - citation, please.

I am more inclined to believe the CDC, which says Sri Lanka has a malaria risk in:
"All areas, except none in the districts of Colombo, Galle, Gampaha, Kalutara, Matara, and Nuwara Eliya."

Personally, I'd rather take Malarone than smother myself with chemicals that eat plastic.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2011, 12:30 PM
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Nowadays one needs to worry more about dengue than malaria, therefore it is very important to prevent mosquito bites. Use repellents, a mosquito net where appropriate, mosquito coils or electric mat etc especially when sleeping at night.

All these are available freely in Sri Lanka. Two of the repellents available in most pharmacies in Sri Lanka are Autan and Odomos, both good.
Mohammed is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2011, 06:25 AM
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Citation - Fit for Travel from the NHS shows the situation quite clearly, but then anyone can look at these sites.

I feel people right on these forums for considered first hand advice. My comment is based on 8 years of personal experience. I have been to Sri Lanka over 20 time and have property there. I also sell holidays to Sri Lanka for a living and after consultation with their GPs very few of my customers take malaria tablets. If anything the feedback from those that do is that they soon realised they were not necessary and certainly not worth the side effects.

I agree 100% with Mohammed however who is right to highlight the risk of Dengue fever and moreover when you realise the number of mosquitoes in Sri Lanka you will happily cover yourself in repellent, whether it takes your nail varnish off or not!

Sri Lanka is stunning though and you will have a great time.
kateglover is offline  
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