Please can anybody help with some advice, preferably from experience. I live and work on the Sierra Leone/Liberia border as a UN Observer and am now in my 4th week of Malaria out the last 6 weeks here. I am taking lots of vitamins to keep as healthy as possible but feel dreadful. How long will it be before I can train again, and how much longer before I can expect to be race fit? Should I expect to write off the UK summer season 2003 for example? Hope you can help. Is Lariam a banned substance?
Yours Ian


  • Sorry to hear of your illness! I'm afraid I can't give you any advice on this subject but wish you a speedy return to training and health!
  • My brother used to work in a malarial area. he has bad attackes that put him in hospital about every two years. He's usually in hospital about 7-10 days, then feels really washed out for another 2-3 weeks. It takes another week or so after that before he's back to work and fully functioning. - so each bout really knocks him out for 6-7 weeks. He doesn't do much formal exercise, but works outdoors.
    To the best of my knowledge, Larium isn't banned (yet) but is under discussion as it can cause paranoia in susceptible people - someone with more details in tropical medicine may be of help with that.
    My brother's blood samples and such like are usually passed through to the London School of Tropical Diseases/Medicine. Might be worth trying to find their website.
  • Had malaria when I lived in Africa years ago now. Ghastly illness we used to take Chloroquin and Malaprim (spelling unsure). Not sure where you stand with current drugs. It took anout a month before feeling fully fit. I didn't run out there but played league squash so not sure as to returning to running training. Agree with DG try contacting the London School of Trop. Diseases we used them alot and were always very helpful.
    Good luck.
  • Thank you all for getting in touch - it was very kind.I have taken loads of drugs to clear the parasites but feel very tired as there is no such thing as time off work here. This web site has been great because it reminds me of cold club runs and the serious matter of the next generation of Asics this and Nike that.It is good for morale to let your mind travel to other places, just for a while. Oops, this message reads like I have taken slightly too much medication. Thanks again.
  • Poor Ian! Keep your chin up. It will pass.
  • Oops, I got it wrong. Malaria plus Typhoid plus a kidney infection! The food in the hopital is a bit of an adventure and the drug routine makes your eyes water! Guess I need a religeous chat room not a running one right now. All the best for the x-country season.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's website is at http:/
  • Ten days in hopital and I can't run for a bus now - not that there are any here. Many thanks to all of you who sent me threads. I should get back to the UK early next year so I think that until then reading this site will be my sole exercise. All the best to you all.
  • Hello Ian,

    I regularly travel in Africa and (touch wood) have never been unfortunate enough to get the dreaded malaria. I take Lariam and it has been fine for me. Not banned but under suspicion as Dangly says.

    There's a new drug called Malorone (I think that's the spelling). It apparently doesn't have the side effects of Lariam but has to be taken every day. However, you don't have to carry on taking it after you get back.

    Best of luck with your recovery.

    All the best,

  • Ian, just wanted to say hope you get back on your feet soon. reading what you do and where you live makes me feel humble and puts trivial woes about my running into perspective.
  • Gosh. Thank you both. I have used Malarone as a treatment and you are right it is OK, loads better than Chloroquine injections. Please don't feel humble, we all make our living somehow, mine is just a little different. This website has been a real boost, it is the first time I have joined one, it is good. Hopefully now it is all cruising(sp)until the new year and coming home time. Thanks again.
  • Ian, you're amazing even to WANT to run! I'd have thought malaria was one of the least of the hazards you'd face in Sierra Leone.

    Mefloquine has had a lot of bad publicity, but it is still available and most people who take it are absolutely fine (I was going to add "like Ratbag", but somebody would make a smartass comment if I did). About one in a hundred will get psychological toxicity with sleep disturbances and mood changes, and about one in e thousand will get a full-blown psychotic illness. Malorone is probably safer and possibly as effective but doubts have been expressed there. It's certainly a viable alternative.

    There's no substitute for not getting bitten in the first place, but that's completely unrealistic for anyone who has to work in an anopheles-infested zone.

    Good luck! Hope you feel better soon. I shall add you to my list of "people whose jobs I could never handle".

    Cheers, V-rap.
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