Upon consultation with a travel doctor, choose whether you want to bring prophylactic medication or medication for self-treatment of malaria. The advantage of the first approach is that you do not have to worry about being able to diagnose malaria (which is not easy since the symptoms are very similar to a common flu and only a blood test can give a definitive answer). The disadvantage is that the prophylatic medication may have serious side-effects. For the second approach, the advantage and disadvantage are reversed.
If you decide to take prophylactic (also called suppressive) medication, your travel route determines the medication requirements. In general, there are three major categories of medication based on the chloroquine resistance observed for malaria-infected regions:
|Region's Chloroquine Resistance
||Appropriate Prophylactic Medication|
|High incidence of chloroquine-resistance
Mefloquine (Lariam) OR atovaquone and proguanil (Malarone) OR doxycycline
Highly chloroquine and Lariam resistant (border of Thailand-Myanmar and Thailand-Cambodia)
||Atovaquone and proguanil (Malarone) OR doxycycline|
In any case and especially if you decide to take a treatment dosage with you, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. The Anopheles mosquito, which carries malaria, bites from dusk until dawn. Wear protective clothing such as light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and do not use perfume or after-shave. Use mosquito repellent and a mosquito net.
Note that the information in this section was collected in August 2003 and is not exhaustive.