We are now in a malarial zone, so we started taking our anti-malarials a few days ago. The ones we have got are doxycycline – which is a broad spectrum antibiotic. According to the leaflet, it’s used to treat a wide variety of things from acne to syphillis, and is generally good for what ails you. It is an effective treatment for traveller’s diarrhoea (hooray!), but its side effects may include diarrhoea (boo!). It made us both feel very nauseous the first couple of times we took it, and Mr Beet was actually sick the first day, but now we are taking it with food and that seems to help.
We also have to use insect repellant to keep the insect bites to a minimum. It had leaked in my medication bag and started to disintegrate the cardboard boxes of my other tablets, so I put it in one of my dry bags to keep it separate. It has now melted the plastic of my dry bag. This is stuff that you put on your skin! It’s not very nice, but better than getting malaria or some other nasty mosquito-borne disease I suppose.
I’ve still got a few insect bites though and I use my little clicker to stop the itching – it may just be psychological, but it does seem to help. I had it in my hand luggage when I flew from Xi’an to Guilin and airport security picked it up on the luggage scanner and made me get it out. Fair play to them – it is after all a device that delivers a small electric shock. They were very polite about it and after I demonstrated it on myself they were happy for me to keep it.