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#76756 - 11/30/03 12:25 PM anti malaria meds
cautious tourist Offline
Does anyone have any advice on taking the meds to prevent travel related illness. Any experience with taking aralen? doxycycline? am trying to decide whether I need to take anything at all. Will be in Ambergris Cay for a week in December. I wonder if these meds you are supposed to take for several weeks to prevent malaria make you feel lousy. Thanks

#76757 - 11/30/03 01:15 PM Re: anti malaria meds
klcman Offline
unless you are spending LOTS of time in the jungle, no need to be concerned. That said, the anti-malarial recommended by the CDC is chloroquine. Other types are not appropriate.

Having been to BZ numerous times, it's never been an issue for me. Rarely have I met anyone who has spent the $$ for this med. IMHO it's not worth the concern nor $$. But, if you do opt to move forward, prescription must be obtained from your Dr. and you must start at least a week before travelling and continue for a month after return.

Here's some info from CDC website to consider:

Chloroquine (brand name Aralen®)
Directions for use:
The adult dosage is 500 mg chloroquine phosphate once a week.
Take the first dose of chloroquine 1 week before arrival in the malaria-risk area.
Take chloroquine once a week, on the same day of the week, while in the malaria-risk area.
Take chloroquine once a week for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria-risk area.
Chloroquine should be taken on a full stomach to minimize nausea.
Chloroquine side effects
Although side effects are rare, nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, and itching can occur. Chloroquine may worsen the symptoms of psoriasis.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

#76758 - 12/01/03 12:39 AM Re: anti malaria meds
RobertE Offline
Don't worry on the anti-malarial meds.

The following are not needed but are a good to have at home as well as travelling abroad. Hepatitis shots and a current tetanus shot as well as good antibacterial drug (ciproflaxacin) if one is prone to traveller's stomach. Cipro is great for diarrhea as often is is a bacterial type thing and pepto or immodium only mask the symptoms and prolong the suffering.

Hepatitis can be found at the cleanest of places in the states. Look at the green onion incident with the Chi Chi's chain or look at shellfish warnings if you go to a seafood restaurant in Florida.

In my experience Belize has been great and the food safe but it doesn't hurt to have some things in case something comes up (band aids, aspirin, suburn gel, etc). Just the old Boy Scout in me. Be prepared. Also, most things can be found in Belize but you might pay more or not have it on hand if you need it.

#76759 - 12/01/03 08:31 AM Re: anti malaria meds
dogmatic prevaricator Offline
There should be some concern about malaria, but the bigger concern should be for dengue fever, see CDC.GOV for info......
If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

#76760 - 12/01/03 06:04 PM Re: anti malaria meds
Debbie Offline
My grandfather died of dengue fever. The carribbean island he was from was having an epidemic. I was pregnant at the time and was forbidden to go to his funeral. It broke my heart. It's not something to mess around with. If there are warnings..... heed them..

#76761 - 12/01/03 08:29 PM Re: anti malaria meds
SimonB Offline
DO IT! For the minor cost and inconvenience it's worth the effort, your health is not worth playing with.

When my wife and I first moved down here she ended up, based on the incubation period, with malaria within 2 days of arriving the country.

True, we were living in a remote area, the village had, and still has, no power. But it still remains a reminder that it can happen at anytime and do you really want to spend your vacation with the symptoms of Malaria?

Sure you're on vacation but take all the precautions you can to make sure it's something you treasure for life not a life long bad memory.

By the way, take your Typhoid precautions as well, I didn't get Malaria but I did end up with Typhoid Fever a while back.



P.S. Chloroquine can have one other side effect which can be a plus or minus depending on how you look at it; very vivid and wild dreams (on the night of ingestion).

#76762 - 12/01/03 09:18 PM Re: anti malaria meds
seashell Offline
Simon, come on now. These people are going to be in San Pedro for one week. Do you really think that they need to be taking anti-malaria meds?

Wouldn't it make much more sense for them just to use a very good bugspray and stay away from the bad mosquito areas, especially at sunrise and sunset?
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#76763 - 12/01/03 10:13 PM Re: anti malaria meds
toad Offline
you can lick a toad for a wild dream

#76764 - 12/01/03 10:16 PM Re: anti malaria meds
chismera Offline
Or munch on mushrooms.

#76765 - 12/01/03 10:35 PM Re: anti malaria meds
SimonB Offline
I'm not saying that AC has a problem with Malaria but face it, it happens, what's the big deal with taking the meds? Why gamble with your health?

Seashell, have you had Malaria? If you had I'm sure you know how it ruin your vacation.

I would never recommend not to take the meds unless their doctor had told them not to take them. I personally wouldn't want to be responsible for anyone taking the decision not to take the meds and then having them contract Malaria (even if the odds were minimal at best), would you?

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