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Malaria prophylaxis

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Malaria prophylaxis

1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Hi everyone!

Just a quick question - I recently got my second lot of vaccinations for South America. The doctor advised me that I wont need any malaria prophylaxis for the countries I am going to (i.e. Peru, Bolivia, CHile, Argentina and Brazil).

Before I left, the nurse printed off some info on each of the countries for me, including areas in each country where there is a malaria risk. I will definitely be travelling to some of these places, e.g.Cusco.

I have 4 weeks exaclty before I leave. Can anyone advise? Do I need to get it or should I be safe enough. I'm not really planning any trips into the jungle or anything.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ev

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

EV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Four weeks and counting - are you completely packed yet????? ;)

The information I am looking at says there is no risk of malarial infection in Chile. Risk may be high in the rural areas of the northern provinces of Argentina - those bordering Boliva. Chloroquine is recommended.
Source - CDC

For Boliva, Brazil and Peru - anti-malarials are recommended - atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone), doxycycline or mefloquine (Larium). Primaquine is recommended in special circumstances only.
Source - CDC

Here lies the dilemmma... Chloroquine is recommended for Argentia but not for any of the others - meaning they are experiencing Chloroquine-resistant stains. Chloroquine is the most effective of the prophylactics and is recommended for non-resistant areas. That does not mean other treatments won't work. My recommendation would be doxycycline for all areas. It is cheaper than Malarone (the combo drug), far fewer side effects than Larium (the bad dream thing), and you do not fall under the "special circumstances" for Primaquine. Doxycycline's biggest side effect is an upset stomach if you don't take it with food. It is also an antibiotic so I would not use it for long term - 3 months or more. (Long term use can lead to a skin sensitivity to the sun but you will not be using the drug for an extended period. Since I know from a previous thread, that you also suffer from prickly heat at times, the Doxy will help reduce the development of the rash.)

I read a lot of threads commenting that many members have not taken anti-malarials while is CA/SA and have not had any problems. But, if you are like me - I tend to forget to use my insect repellent regularly. I'm also not keen on having 50% (or higher) concentrations of DEET absorbing into my skin 24/7. I see it as using the lesser of 2 "evils" and still maintaining some protection against infection. Also, you will be given the same anti-malarials, at much higher doses, as a treatment if you do contract the disease. Again, I prefer to play it safe and enjoy my travels. (I'm also a mosquito magnet...)

3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

There shouldn't be any risk of Malaria in Cusco - it's way to high up (the CDC page seems to back me up on this). If you are basically doing the Andes route (Inca Trail, lake Titicaca, La Paz), then I think you will be fine.

Greg

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Thanks for the help guys!

Yeah, I was surprised to see Cusco on the list. Okay, I think I'll just go and hope for the best.

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to look up all the info.

x
Ev

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

You are welcome and have a great trip!!!!!

ps: POST CARDS are a good thing... They also work well for swatting mossies!!!

6. Posted by Leo_arg (Inactive 54 posts) 10y

Hola!
I think you won´t need any if you are not travelling to the jungle...
I once took some pils against malaria, when I went to the Amazonas; I don´t know any place in my country were you have to take pils...
When going to Bolivia and Perú, I had vaccines for "Fiebre amarilla" and "Fiebre tifoidea"...excuse I don´t know the english for them..!!

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting Leo_arg

When going to Bolivia and Perú, I had vaccines for "Fiebre amarilla" and "Fiebre tifoidea"...excuse I don´t know the english for them..!!

Leo - the English terms are:
"Fiebre amarilla" = Yellow Fever
"Fiebre tifoidea" = Typhoid Fever

;)

8. Posted by Leo_arg (Inactive 54 posts) 10y

Thank you Isadora...I though that was the translation, but I wasn´t sure...
By the way, you´ll be welcomed in my country, Ev!
Leo.

9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Thanks guys, what would I do without you all!

10. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Quoting samsara2

Thanks guys, what would I do without you all!

Contract Malaria, I would assume...