I mentioned in my travel tips post that Malaria deserves blog post on its own.
First let me repeat myself.
Malaria prevention drugs
Weather to use or not to use Malaria prevention drugs during tropical trip is point of argue and I will not push to accept my point of view but I would like to explain. Why I would not use them.
Side effects of Malaria prevention drugs are too harsh while the disease itself is curable. Why would you want to poison yourself and suffer all those side effects “just in-case” when it would be rather easy to treat the disease once you have gotten it. The main cure if you discover that you have gotten Malaria will take only 3 days. After the cure you might feel dizzy and weak for few days and the food will not taste quite the same for some time. But I feel that is much better option than feeling nausea or having running stomach or heat rashes or hallucinations and much more during your tropical trip. Or fine – when you are there for short time like 2 weeks or so, then yes I understand if you take the prevention drugs cos obviously you would not want to spend one week being sick in bed out of your even short trip.
Treatment is easy when started in time
But when you are traveling to Africa or Asia for long period – with plan to live there, then using prevention drugs would be rather no-no! Better cure the disease once you get it and save your liver.
I lived in Ghana for 7 years and I never got the disease. Yet I have cured it few times on my ex-boyfriends, and on my husband and also on both of my kids.
Ok, seeing kids suffering on Malaria was hard, and it was one of the reasons why I decided to leave Africa and move back to Estonia with them. The hard part of this decision was that I had to leave my husband behind as he would not get job here and he was not much into being a sit at home dad and live on my cost. I would have not minded though…
But if you still decide to use Malaria preventive care then you should also know that they don´t keep Malaria away for 100% but you might still get the disease but then it would be more difficult to diagnose it cos the blood test will not recognize Malaria when the preventive drug is in your “system”. In such case – when you get the 3in1 – High Fever, Running Stomach and Vomiting – just don´t hesitate and start the treatment. Go to the closest pharmacy and by Cortem C or whatever other Malaria drug available and just start the treatment. Ok? PLEASE!!!
Stay Healthy after the trip
Now you should know that once being bitten in tropics by Malaria Mosquito the disease can hide in your body for 6 months and you might get sick back home, once you have long forgotten about the trip.
So what I would recommend is to buy course of Malaria medicine before traveling back home and whenever you have the 3in1 at home just start the cure. Ofcourse sometimes the symptoms would vary, maybe you will not get the Vomiting – but high fever is there. Also pay attention to joint pains – this is also one less common symptom of having Malaria.
Doctors at home might not recognize that you have Malaria especially when you have not informed them that you were at tropics while ago.
I am not sure, but think few months after moving back from Africa my 3 year old son had Malaria. He got high fever but blood-test showed no locally common disease. So I just did the 3 days lasting Malaria treatment on him and he got fine. We don´t know if it was Malaria, cos my doctor did not have means to test for Malaria here but the treatment worked so I rather believe it was Malaria as no other disease was also not found.
Death After the Trip
One of the reasons why I insist buying course of Malaria treatment and carrying with you back home after trip is that I know cases where people have died at home after Africa trip thinking they have flu. There was Mexican Intern in Ghana who we meat shortly before he left to Mexico. He flew out from Ghana via Amsterdam and got High fever during his transfer in Holland. He thought, he got cold cos of the difference of temperature. Well it was not cold. He died 2 days after he reached home. If only he had carried some Malaria medicine from Ghana with him ans started the treatment on his own after having first symptoms…
So if use over preventive drugs is point of argue and I don´t push there for you people to follow my advice not to use them. But on carrying set of Malaria treatment with you after returning home and starting the cure whenever having first symptoms I DO INSIST! Please be ready to treat Malaria at home up to 6 months after your trip!