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#267961 - 02/15/08 01:32 AM Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignacio???  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 30
RachelAnne Offline
RachelAnne  Offline

I am traveling to San Ignacio in March and after reading up on the CDC website I have some concerns that I didn't even think of before. I have been planning on taking the anti-malarials, but didn't think about diarrhea due to food/water. Could I please get some advice on what to do and not to do? I have a very sensitive stomach and believe me, if someone is going to get ill from the water it will be me. So, do I need to stay away from those delicious sounding drinks and locally prepared meals? Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thank you!!!

#268002 - 02/15/08 11:59 AM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignacio??? [Re: RachelAnne]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,325
dabunk Offline
dabunk  Offline
Food problems are almost nill in my estimation. Been here 5 years and only got food poisoning once, and that was from the Belize Biltmore Hotel. March is dry season and mozzies are much reduced, but taking the anti malarials is not bad just need to start two weeks before you arrive and a week or two after. Bottled water is everywhere, but if you have a real sensitive stomach, you will want to avoid the drinks and ice possibly.

#268003 - 02/15/08 12:26 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignaci [Re: dabunk]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,132
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
CDC is off base if you ask me they suggest we have malaria and I can't see any evidence of that?
Don't forget the anti malarials do liver damage and taking just to to be safe is probably not a good logic ....sorry Dabunk i have to disagree about this one . Is there any evidence of malaria down south where you are?
I've been here 20 years but I'm on Ambergris Caye. I visit Belize mainland, including San Ignacio and just don't see or hear of it.

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#268004 - 02/15/08 12:35 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignacio??? [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 5,255
sweetjane Offline
sweetjane  Offline
SI is no prob. i got much more sick from the food in the US airports. don't think i got bit once either...

#268005 - 02/15/08 01:02 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignaci [Re: sweetjane]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,132
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Let their be no secret about it ,I am not a fan of the CDC.
but you should look at what they say here.

A Special Note about Antimalarial Drugs

You should purchase your antimalarial drugs before travel. Drugs purchased overseas may not be manufactured according to United States standards and may not be effective. They also may be dangerous, contain counterfeit medications or contaminants, or be combinations of drugs that are not safe to use.
Halofantrine (marketed as Halfan) is widely used overseas to treat malaria. CDC recommends that you do NOT use halofantrine because of serious heart-related side effects, including deaths. You should avoid using antimalarial drugs that are not recommended unless you have been diagnosed with life-threatening malaria and no other options are immediately available.

For detailed information about these antimalarial drugs, see Information for the Public: Prescription Drugs for Malaria.

The CDC is the source of information that Malaria is in Belize.

check other sources and you hear a very different story.

It would be my advice to also note ;
Side effects from chloroquine phosphate
* headache
* loss of appetite
* diarrhea
* upset stomach
* stomach pain
* skin rash or itching
* hair loss
* mood or mental changes

* seeing light flashes and streaks
* blurred vision
* reading or seeing difficulties (words disappear, seeing half an object, misty or foggy vision)
* difficulty hearing
* ringing in ears
* muscle weakness
* drowsiness
* upset stomach
* vomiting
* irregular heartbeats
* convulsions
* difficulty breathing

Ask around a bit more

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#268021 - 02/15/08 02:08 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignaci [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,325
dabunk Offline
dabunk  Offline
Here in Toledo in the last year I personally know of 4 malaria and one dengue here in our village. We lived in Isabella Bank in belize district for two years and only know of one case of dengue. It does happen, but the chloroquin recommended for Belize is one of the least dangerous anti-malarials as I understand it. We took them for the first two years that we visited here before moving in full time. We have not taken them since moving here full time, but have seen enough cases to know it is around. I say that if you are a belt and suspenders kind of person, take the pills.

#268084 - 02/15/08 10:53 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignaci [Re: RachelAnne]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 30
RachelAnne Offline
RachelAnne  Offline
Thank you so much for all the suggestions everyone. I would say I'm probably a "belt and suspenders" type of person...but I'd love to hear more...any other suggestions, comments, stories???

Btw...42 days until I'm in SI!!!!! God I can't wait. I've been drawing palm trees and circling Central America on the map since I was a little kid. This is definitely an experience I've been waiting for for as long as I can remember smile

#268128 - 02/16/08 12:22 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignaci [Re: RachelAnne]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,781
Leah-Ann Offline
Leah-Ann  Offline
Spent some time on the mainland on our first trip and we took the anti-malarial, chloroquine. One pill a week, 1 week before departure, during the length of the stay, and , as I recall, two weeks upon return. None of us had any side effects whatsoever. Nothing.
I no longer take chloroquine for a trip just to the island, but irrespective of what you may hear, there are many documented cases of malaria in Belize. Belize has the highest incidence of malaria in the Americas.

#268139 - 02/16/08 02:02 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignaci [Re: Leah-Ann]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,132
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline

Leah-Ann, could that be old info It appears Brazil wins the prize and Mexico beats Belize.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#268141 - 02/16/08 02:25 PM Re: Illness concerns while traveling to San Ignaci [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,781
Leah-Ann Offline
Leah-Ann  Offline
Could be, Elbert. Difficult to tell as the figures reported appear to be preliminary rather than final. I did read that because Mexico, under pressure from NAFTA, stopped the manufacture and use of DDT, Belize has had difficulty procuring DDT and has seen an uprise in malaria as a result. Any way you slice it, for medication that was pretty innocuous (chloroquine) and very inexpensive, I'd take it again if I planned to travel much in country.

I can never remember which is better . . . safe? . . . or sorry?
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