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Malaria Pills

Posted By: ScubaDoo

Malaria Pills - 04/13/03 02:05 AM

OK OK...

I've done a search on this board for Malaria and I've been to CDC.gov and now I'm more confused on whether to take Malaria pills or not. Side effects, time of year, time spent in the jungle, Off with Deet, and do you normally have problems with mosquito bites.

We are going to be staying on Ambergris Caye (Captain Morgan's) for 2 weeks (June 7-21). We are planning a day trip to Lumanai (sp) and a cave tubing day trip on the mainland. Is this a time of year when mosquitos are bad? Will a day trip here and a day there in the jungle in June be a bad time of year for mosquitos? We will mostly be diving and spending time on Ambergris Caye. And, I plan on using and bug repellant with Deet.

I know everyone is different... But are the side affects of Chloroquine bad? From what I've read... this the right Malaria pill for Belize. Right?

We are up to date with Hep A/B and tetanus.

Help?
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Malaria Pills - 04/13/03 03:02 AM

Chloroquine has been used for decades (I had to take it in Vietnam, which was, what?, three or four wars ago.) It has few if any side effects. I've taken it many times with zero side effects, and in fact I'm taking a version of it now (unrelated to malaria.)

But if you are just staying on Ambergris Caye and making a trip or two to the mainland, there's really no need to take malaria prophylaxis, despite what you read on the CDC Web site. The CDC is very conservative. I'd say 98% of visitors to San Pedro don't take anything.

There is malaria in Belize, but in recent years the number of cases has been very small -- a few hundred cases annually, mostly among immigrants from Guatemala and in remote areas of the far south and west. It can happen, and I know of a few visitors who have contracted it, but it's rare. You're probably more likely to die in a traffic accident or to have a heart attack while snorkeling than to get malaria.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: Denny Shane

Re: Malaria Pills - 04/13/03 11:38 AM

I agree with Lan. If you are just visiting the island with a trip or two to the mainland, you do not need them. Pills are suggested for people planning on staying inland for months or extended stay.

Just go and enjoy yourself, take things as they come and you will have a great time!
Posted By: Windsor3

Re: Malaria Pills - 04/13/03 09:31 PM

We were told to absolutely take the pills. Our daughter will be taking them too, and I was concerned. The Dr. said it is much better, (and safe), to take them, than contract malaria.
We also got typhoid shots, which seemed a little unnecessary to me. Our Hep A/B was brought up to date, as was tetanus. So, we are ready...
I was glad to read the post that the malaria pills are safe.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Malaria Pills - 04/15/03 02:39 AM

Windsor3,

Better safe than sorry is probably always a sound policy, but I bet your doc has never been within 500 miles of Belize.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: Windsor3

Re: Malaria Pills - 04/15/03 09:25 PM

Actually, she worked at a clinic there 10 years ago for a year.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Malaria Pills - 04/15/03 10:39 PM

I lose the bet, then. Of course things have changed in the last 10 years. At that time, there were close to 8,000 cases of malaria a year in Belize; now there are only a few hundred.

--Lan Sluder
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