The Dangers of Mosquitos

mosquitoMosquitos are estimated to transmit disease to more then 700 million people annually in Africa, South American, Central America, Mexico and much of Asia with millions resulting in death. These diaseases include: Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Encephalitis, and West Nile. The last thing we want to experience on our trip is a nasty disease like those!

Precautions must be made to keep us healthy. As mentioned in a previous post we have already received the vaccines we will need to help protect us. But unfortunately there isn’t a vaccine for all the possible diseases. Instead we have to make sure we avoid mosquito bites by trying to avoid going out at dawn or dusk, wearing DEET bug spray, covering up our skin, closing open windows & doors, and sleep under mosquito nets.

We also must take malaria pills while in countries of risk. But many of these pills have some weird side effects or are super expensive. Malarone is know with the least amount of side effects but can cost you $5 a day! 

Our travel doctor has prescribe us Doxycycline as she said it’s the next best one that is still working in the areas we are heading. Also the price is right. However I’m feeling concerned about it’s possible side effects:

Doxycycline Side Effects:

A) Upset stomach & nausea
We were advised on ways to avoid this by making sure you eat before you take the tablet and staying in a upright position for an hour afterwords. 

We have been prescribe some heavy duty anti diarrhea pills and will also be taking the oral vaccine Dukoral for travelers diarrhea that you can get over the counter at most pharmacies. 

C) Vaginal yeast infection
Scott has nothing to worry about… and if he did I would be pretty concerned! But I really rather not have this while on my travels! 

D) Sun Sensitivity 
I’m already really fair skin and have to wear a ton of sunscreen to avoid burns…. now I have a chance of this problem getting even worse?? I’m heading off to follow the sun for a year! I don’t want to have to stay indoors and avoid it. 

E)Birth Control Warning
Travel Doctor advised to wear condoms while on doxycycline as it has a chance to affect the potency of your birth control. We really don’t want babies on the trip! But I went on birth control for the trip and now I’m being told it’s not going to even work? I’ve done some research and can’t find anything stated there has been any problems in the recent past and even found this statement: “Previously, it was believed that doxycycline impairs the effectiveness of many types of hormonal contraception due to CYP450 induction. Recent research has shown no significant loss of effectiveness in oral contraceptives while using most tetracycline antibiotic (including doxycycline), although many physicians still recommend the use of barrier contraception for people taking the drug to prevent unwanted pregnancy.” So do I not worry about it then? 


Is anyone currently on or has used Doxycycline? Can you share your experiences with it?

What about the backpackers out there who have been traveling for multiple years now? Have you been taking malaria pills this entire time?

We have been told to start taking ours 2 days before we land in India and then to stop once we are 4 weeks out of risk countries. That looks to be about 7 months straight of taking these pills with less then desirable side effects! But I guess those are better then the potential diseases we can get if we don’t take them…

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