Hello, my husband and I will be crossing into Cambodia by train through the Poipett boarder (from Bangkok Thailand) and will be staying in Siem Reap for 3 days max to see Angkor. Im getting mixed info about whether or not I should get malaria or dengue fever medications/vaccinations. Is Deet insect repellent enough protection for 3 days in Cambodia? Or should we see our doctors and get those meds before we go? We arent going on any safaris so the remainder of the time spent there will be around the Siem Reap downtown/city... Would really appreciate any advice on this topic!
Would also like to add that the time we are going is beginning of October... If that makes any difference in the responses...
The CDC website states "Areas with malaria: Present throughout the country, except none at the temple complex at Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, and around Lake Tonle Sap." Hope this helps. Have a great trip, and remember to blog!
Thanks for your responses! I didn't know that there wasn't a vaccine for the dengue fever... So that option is obviously ruled out. I guess my best hope is to protect myself like "Sir Halberd" said, by applying lots of Deet and wearing clothes that cover me up... which would also help protect from UV exposure and insuring im modest enough for the temples, knock 3 birds with one stone. I wonder how much malarial meds in Thailand cost, i will have to check that out. Thanks again!
"I wonder how much malarial meds in Thailand cost...."
Doxy is cheap. From around 4 baht per capsule to 10 baht per capsule depending on where made.
Check with your doctor to see if this will work for you.
When I was younger and had more respect for myself I used to get doxycycline in Bangkok for about 10 baht a capsule. Then I got to the point where I was doing so much extensive travelling around south east Asia that I lapsed and didn't bother anymore, I thought to myself what about all the locals that live here on a more permanent basis, the majority of those won't be on meds and they have not all died of Malaria otherwise they wouldn't exist as a people! So I went down that route and now I just don't bother. And I've spent a lot of time in high risk zones, not just a few days.
I am of course not endorsing this route as I have met a couple of other travellers who have contracted Malaria and for all intensive purposes it comes across as a shite disease to contract, which disease isn't? I've also met folk who have had breakbone (Dengue)fever and have myself been living in Dengue Fever epidemic zones within Cambodia, obviously not too much you can do in that instance in regards to dengue, but I do always religiously try my best at deeting up, to some degree this works but you will still more than likely get bitten at some point, theres no stopping the bastard things really. So inevitably it will be down to your own personal choice, you have to think if your only there a few days then chances are slim. BUT....for the sake of self assurance you might want to consider the meds. Of course this is not professional advice, thats what doctors are for! Hope a bit of this helps.
I agree with Daniel. Everyone has a different tolerance to risk, so if the odds are small then many will take the risk, while taking precautions to reduce the risk further.
From personal experience, I lived in Southeast Asia for 18 years, and took the risk. After 17 years I contracted Dengue Fever. But that was nothing compared to an inner ear infection I caught from swimming that had me flat on my back with vertigo for two weeks.
My wife lived in Thailand with me for two and a half years and contracted malaria in Chiang Mai, which reoccurs at random times; once when we were in Jordan and the second time the night her dad died. My Dad lived in Thailand for 36 years and contracted malaria after 25. My Mom never contracted it. Just saying, the odds are small and the diseases survivable.
I really appreciate all the personal info you guys have shared on this topic, i feel bad for your loved ones who have contracted Malaria but am surprised it took so long for them to get it. I was looking for these kinds of examples to make my decision easier, so thanks guys
Myself, my husband and 10 year old travelled there in November/December last year. We had no vaccinations but slathered ourselves in DEET. You can purchase 80% DEET there for a lot less than I could buy in Australia. I preferred that option, after discussing the side effects of vaccinations.
Mosquitoes did not bother us while we were there. Also, the hotel we were staying in did some spraying too - so, I think we were fairly safe. Make sure you look at ALL options, side affects, costs etc....
Excellent feedback, thanks for your advice, after reading everyones comments I think tons of Deet and covered up skin is the way we are going 😊
Even though you asked specifically about malaria and dengue, I'd suggest you also get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B. And EVERYONE, whether travelling or not, should make sure their tetanus booster is up-to-date.
Today, tetanus is usually administered as TDap, which stands for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough.) Tetanus is a serious disease that can cause muscle spasms so severe as to break bones. Don't take the chance.
That is a good point too Karen, thanks for bringing that up. Fortunately working in the medical field Its required for me to be up to date on all those Hep's, mumps, etc... I have to double check with my husband to see what he needs, cause like you said, its not something you should mess with!
I agree with the above in terms of other vaccines. As far as malaria goes you always have to check if risks outweigh the side effects. We went through all SE Asia including risk areas without any anti-malaria pills and only practiced common sense. If there was a risk we would have used DEET and cover up at sunset.
You will be absolutely fine in Cambodia:-) Enjoy as it is a great place.