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almostbroke 03-10-2004 06:47 AM

Hola- Any thoughts on malaria prevention in Central America? Chloroquine? Buy it in US, or pick some up in the Yucatan? We plan on spending a year in Mexico, Belize, and mostly Guatemala. Any brands of repellent better than others to stock up on?

JohnDrake 03-10-2004 07:37 AM

Malaria is a serious vector borne disease that is endemic to the areas you mention. It is one of the top 3 causes of deaths from infectious diseases worldwide and a serious risk to travelers.

You should consult the CDC and US State dept websites to check up on specific information and prophylatic drug regamens for each specific country you plan to visit or stay in. A different drug may be required in a different area. You will need to be very specific about this.

And yes, buy the drugs in the US. Have a prescription with you as you travel.

Hope this helps


staceyneil 03-10-2004 01:03 PM

Definitely check the CDC web site. They have very spcific instructions about WHICH anti-malarials work in WHICH locations (some countries, like Panama, need two different medicines because the malaria is resistant to one or the other in various locales.)


almostbroke 03-11-2004 02:57 PM

Thanks for the replies- It looks like chloroquine is it, since we aren''t going south of Guatemala. I checked out Canadian Rx prices, and it is amazing how much cheaper they are than US prices......

sneuman 03-17-2004 09:05 PM

Good that it''s chloroquine and not mefloquine. I have taken the latter without side effects when I lived in India, but I have friends for whom the drug induced horrible nightmares. In any case, you don''t want to take mefloquine for a prolonged regime - it may cause liver damage.

WHOOSH 03-17-2004 10:46 PM

AB, don''t forget to look at your timetable alongside the effective useage period of Chloroquine. As I recall, we decided not to carry malaria drugs because they''d expire before our arrival where we needed them in the W Caribbean. And that''s if we stowed them in the reefer, not in the med locker where ambient conditions are tougher on meds.

Also, don''t forget you can source drugs once you arrive. A good clinic in a city (e.g. G City in Guatemala) will have what you need...altho'' the source will determine how fresh the drug is.

We traveled inland in C America some, but not a lot. If you''re backpacking and bus touring, you may have more of a need for malaria preventitive meds but, for boaters, we found almost no one using them, even those that went up the Macraya River into VZ, visited Panama, or sailed thru the W Caribbean. But usually folks were quite diligent about insect screen useage; we sure were.


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