I'm travelling to the Carribean Coast, near Puerto Viejo, but also around the country for 10 days possibly towards Panama, and to the North. I was wondering if Malaria is really bad and if I need to get the pills. I don't really want to take them if I don't have to. The Travel Health Clinic says yes, but they pretty much say yes to everything that you can get a vaccine for. Others I've talked to there say no one takes them however I question it because the Travel Clinic says so? Help?
I travelled to Puerto Viejo (and much of the rest of CR - see my blog here for details) back in December 02 and didn't take any malaria pills. I was travelling with 4 friends and none of them took these either
The Dutch version of the travel clinic never recommended malaria related pills, but I had to get a few other shots (TB maybe? it's been a while so I can't really remember)....
Hope that helps!
I am from Costa Rica and will not recommend you to take malaria pills. The incidence of malaria is very slow and if you're going to Puerto Viejo I don't see any problem, except if you are going to the deep rain forest in the middle of the more remote area here :-)
First of all we have two distinct diseases, malaria and dengue, in certain parts of the country, and mainly during the rainy season (May thru December).
Along the coasts we don't have malaria. Inland, some cases were reported a few months ago in the Matina and Bataan (Limon province) areas. It's unlikely you'll visit these swampy places.
We do, however, have "dengue" in certain places on certain occasions. This gives a high fever, and unless you have not suffered from a dengue infection before, the matter can be taken care of without too much of a hassle.
You can read about these two types of viruses in Wikipedia and what the effects, prevention and cures are.
As far as your visits to the areas which you mentioned are concerned, there is no need for any pills or vaccines to be taken. Ask the locals and have perhaps some netting provided over your bed (it'll be more against the normal mosquito bites, seen as the dengue carrier only bites during daytime).
Puerto Viejo (Limon) and its southern coast area do not have, at this time of writing, any cases of dengue (and never had of malaria).
There are, however, quite a few cases of dengue right now near the Pacific resort of Tamarindo, and more specifically in Santa Cruz, its provincial capital.
I have never taken any prevention against either of the diseases but have been careful to avoid areas where traditionally, due to carelessness of the population, there have been cases of dengue and, more sporadically, of malaria.
Hello, well I just want to tell that there is no Malaria here in Puerto Viejo so don´t worry about, and the only thing that you really need to bring is the mosquito repellent, because here in costa rica are Dengue, and is better to use mosquito repellent for that.
If you need more help about costa rica, contact me and I will happy to help you.
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I live in Puerto Viejo and I have not heard of a Malaria case or heard of any expats who live here who took malaria pills.