Likelyhood of HepB in South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Likelyhood of HepB in South America

1. Posted by El Boot (Full Member 106 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Im in the process of getting my jabs. Iv received HepA, Typhoid, Tetnus, Yellow Fever, Polio and Rabies...

Iv asked a few different nurses about HepB and i have had conflicting answers.

I believe i can only effected by sex or dirty needles...

Have most of yee gotten it before travelling to South Am?

2. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

great thread.

I have just booked an appointment with my doctor to discuss malaria tablets and an appointment with the nurse to get some jabs which we will discuss when I get there. Appointment not for 4 weeks yet though but some further input here would no doubt help me greatly.

Re: your point Hep B I think I will get it anyway as accidents can, and do, happen all the time and if one small injection can help then I will be taking it.

3. Posted by El Boot (Full Member 106 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

im am thinking of hanging on and get my malaria pills over there as they are supposed to be a fraction of the this true??? The one problem with this is that i was told that im better off testing them out here cos people different reactions to different types of the pills....

The prob with the HepB is that the injections are done in over 3 courses like the rabies ones and they are £40\€60 each...

Iv already paid a fortune for the previous ones...

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 26, 2007, at 6:36 AM by butts ]

4. Posted by AndyB24 (Respected Member 167 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Yah, u should try out the pills before u come. Larium is available here, but can have some nasty side effects in some people. If you want malerone or doxy better to take care of it at home.

Met a guy in quito who got enough larium for a month for $20 I think, not positive on the price though.

5. Posted by Peter (Admin 6600 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

There's some great articles on this in the destinations guide actually, under a Health section.

Here's the Hepatitis B article.

Here's the list of other health related articles.

Thanks go mostly to Isadora for compiling those very thorough articles. You should definitely find some answers there ;)

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Peter

Thanks go mostly to Isadora for compiling those very thorough articles. You should definitely find some answers there ;)

;) Thank you for the compliment, Peter!


Hep A is a food/water borne strain of hepatitis. I recommend that to everyone whether you eat in restaurants, via street vendors and/or drink the water.

Hep B is a blood-borne strain. Yes, the jabs are over a longer period of time, but I still recommend them to everyone. As tricky mentioned "accidents do happen". Tattooing parlors have one of the highest incidences of Hep B in "third world nations". (I've yet to figure out the third world thing...) The parlors do sterilize their equipment but not all sterilizers are maintained properly. If an accident should befall you and you need blood... That's just two reasons for getting the Hep B vaccinations. If you leave for your travels prior to the last injection, you will still have partial immunity. You can finish the series upon your arrival home.


Richard (tricky) - when are you leaving and where are you going? Either post here or send me a PM and I can probably help you with the jabs and anti-malarials. (It's July 26th and I will be out of town until the 29th. I'll check back on the 30th.)


Both chloroquine and doxycycline are available as OTCs in most SA countries but Malarone is not. I would not recommend Larium to anyone. Women experience the side effects of Larium more commonly than men, though there is no medical explanation as to the reasoning at this time. Women also seem to suffer the more severe side effects as well.

Also, I would recommend getting a few tablets of whatever anti-malarial you decide upon at home - before your trip. All of them require you to begin the regimen prior to entering an malarial area. Once you have begun the prophylaxis, you can purchase the remainder of your meds in SA. If you plan to spend the first week or so in a populated area or major city, then you could conceivably start your prophylaxis in SA. Some meds take longer to build an adequate blood titer than others.

Doxycycline can interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Though it does not cause a 100% failure rate, it can bring their effectiveness down around 80% - meaning the use of condoms is recommended for the first 2-3 weeks of doxy use. This is also true for women using contraceptive implants or have received the long-term hormone injections. Basically, use additional precautions during the early stages of doxy use.

Hope this helps!!

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 26, 2007, at 12:48 PM by Isadora ]