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Help - I have forgotten to take Malaria tablets!

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Help - I have forgotten to take Malaria tablets!

1. Posted by Rach-a (Respected Member 368 posts) 12y

Rach-a has indicated that this thread is about Brazil

I don't recall being advised by my nurse to take malaria tablets - I was told by my friends that I was stupid for not taking them and they are panicking. Can anyone advise if I should take them atall - I leave for RTW on Sunday :(

2. Posted by michellemm (Full Member 109 posts) 12y

Hey, Rach-a!

Unless you're going to Amazon (rain forest) you don't need them at all...for sure!

Don't worry....people think Brazil is a big jungle, but it's not....we don't have problems with malaria (as I said, except in the Amazon jungle)....


3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 12y

You probably shouldn't take any medical advice from non-qualified professionals, either your friends or the people here. Of course, the problem is often doctors in 1st world nations without malaria have as much knowledge as your lay-person.

Do you need to take them? That's a personal decision based on where you are going and the risk it will involve. This site has a lot of good links to hospitals and health organizations that can help you make a decision:

The key thing, whether you take them or not, is to protect yourself against insect bites. Wear long clothing and protect your skin with a repellant with DEET, especially when mosquitos are most active (early evening).

Also, familiarize yourself with the symptoms of malaria. That way, you will know if you have it. Even if you are taking the antimalarials, you can still get sick. Doctors in countries where malaria is prevelant are very adept at treating it.

And your friends need to relax. Buy them a beer.

Enjoy your trip, it's going to be great!

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 12y

Sorry, the link doesn't seem to be working very well.

Go to:

Click on the HEALTH branch.

Click on the topic entitled "Health info to get you started" (should be the second topic on the list).


5. Posted by rogerb (Full Member 50 posts) 12y

This is a good site that will explain EVERYTHING !


6. Posted by (Full Member 111 posts) 12y

yes , like Greg already wrote, its up to you if you take them.
But what you should really do, doesnt matter if you take the pills or not, inform your self about malaria and its effects.
The possibility taking malarone or lariam ( dont know if those 2 existing pills have other names in different countries ) not as a prophylaxe but after you got the symptomes is possible as well. Like Greg also said , even with taking the pills before , you can get infected , too.
Dont see my statement as a medical advice ! Before making up your decision , talk to a profesional . It also depends on where you heading for.

Anyway, have a nice trip & enjoy it !!


7. Posted by thowra (Full Member 74 posts) 12y

As already stated by michellemm, most places in Brasil do not actually ahve Malaria! I never took any tablets during my travels and never came anywhere close to Malaria infested areas. I think the Amazon is one of only two places in Brasil that has Malaria, the other one being somewhere in the Atlantic rainforest. They are diffrent strands of Malaria. But as said before, you need loads of good repellent, and good sense. Most of the country is clear and if you take sufficient precautions you should be fine. I have heard many accounts from friends that took Malaria tablets and got so ill from them that in the end they decided the risk of actually contracting Malaria was too small to justify the amount of discomfort the side effects of the tablets were giving them.

8. Posted by Rach-a (Respected Member 368 posts) 12y

Hi People, thanks for all your advice!! I have not been able to contact the nurse but after reading these responses and the links also provided, I'm sure I'll be fine. I wasn't told my the nurse to take them although I have seen her twice with regards to all vaccinations. It turns out there are four different types of malaria but if caught early enough the treatment is 100% effective (according to sources provided)! It isn't 100% prevented by these tablets and they do seem to have some awful side effects - so I'll skip taking them. I do have repellent - all kinds infact - such as mosquito coils, normal spray repellent, 50% DEET repellent and a mosquito net so am prepared in some ways. If I do go to Amazon I will wear DEET and cover up altogether and so I should be fine.

Thanks again everyone for advice and links ;)

9. Posted by michellemm (Full Member 109 posts) 12y

Hey, Rach-a!

As Brazil is a tropical country, you'll find a lot of mosquitos in the cost area, but don't worry, they will only cause you some itching and little swelling...but that's it's good indeed you take some repelent!

Have a woderful trip!! And if you come to São Paulo (the capitol), tell me so we can go out here (night life in São Paulo is awesome!)