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malaria?

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Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 94
malaria?

Do we need to take malaria pills before going to Paradisus Playa Conchal?

What about Hepititus B?

thanks

New England
posts: 177
1. Re: malaria?

Check this link for the Center for Disease Control, Traveler's Health section for the government's latest recommendations: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm. No shots are required for Costa Rica. I tend to take the risk of Hepatitis A most seriously of all the recommendations and have been vaccinated for it. Malaria, while it gets a mention often, is very uncommon. I took the anti-malarial regimen on my first trip but have not since (four more trips). The medicine has a tendency to make you slightly nauseous. Dengue fever is another possibility but the best precaution against it (and malaria) is simply to avoid mosquito bites (ie use insect repellent if you feel you must). I have never found mosquitos to be even a minor nuisance but you can use repellent and sleep under mosquito netting if it's available (and most hotels have it if needed). Fans used while sleeping also discourage mosquitos. Remember, too, that you are prevented from donating blood for one year after your return because of the potential malaria risk. An over the counter anti-diarrhea medication is a good thing to bring along, also.

New England
posts: 131
reviews: 27
2. Re: malaria?

Thanks PhiloKvetch! We've heard that mosquitoes are as common as one would suspect. Did you travel to rainforest regionals too? Also, we're planning a trip for the first two weeks of July ~ does the season make a difference?

Did you take the typhoid shot?

Can't wait to go...

New England
posts: 177
3. Re: malaria?

On our first trip my wife was a bit "mosquito phobic" so we took the anti-malaria pills (they made us mildly nauseous) and were vaccinated for Hepatitis A. I was already vaccinated for Hepatitis B at work. A tetanus booster might not be a bad idea since most people don't keep up with them but I believe that can also be given after the fact (if you need it as the result of an injury). We also pre-treated some clothes with insect repellent and brought plenty with us. I, personally, have never used insect repellent while in Costa Rica and could probably count the number of bites on one hand. The most we ever got were from walking through a grassy pasture in Orosi. Something bit us about the ankles but I have no idea what they were. Definitely not mosquitos. We have been in Costa Rica in Jan & Feb (dry season) and July & Aug (green season). We've visited Arenal, Monteverde, Cahuita (twice), Puerto Viejo (twice), Dominical, Orosi and the coast of the Guanacaste peninsula from Montezuma to Playa Cocos. I got more mosquito bites in the parking lot of JFK walking to my car in July and August than in all of the vacations. I would certainly bring insect repellent along just in case (it beats putting a damper on your vacation) as it is expensive to buy there. I also understand that mosquitos may be worse in the northeast (Tortuguero) and southwest (Osa peninsula) areas of the country but we haven't been there (yet). We always pack an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicine but have never used it, either.

Costa Rica
posts: 24
4. Re: malaria?

Just some general comments on mosquitoes in Costa Rica, a subject with which I have had PLENTY of experience with - I've been living here since 1998. Mosquitoes ARE a problem in most parts of the country, and you would be well advised to bring/buy repellent with you. I stayed at one of the new resorts in Papagayo last February (peak dry season) and was amazed at the swarms of mosquitoes that would appear at sunset. The main restaurant at the hotel had many cans of "Off" at the reception desk - for those who wanted to wait for their table outside by the poolside bar and not get eaten alive by the mosquitoes. Right now it's the rainy season and it seems the dengue epidemic has gotten worse in Limon province (on the Caribbean side), ytd there are about 40% more cases than last year.

New England
posts: 177
5. Re: malaria?

cr trader and I have definitely had differing experiences with mosquitos. To be safe I would bring plenty of repellent! You might as well plan for the worst and be prepared to deal with it. I always assumed that, being a tropical country, Costa Rica would be swarming with mosquitos. For me, at least, that problem never materialized. Good luck and have a safe trip!

New England
posts: 131
reviews: 27
6. Re: malaria?

Whoa! Sounds like here (New England) ~ swarms of mosquitoes at dusk with everyone scrambling for various repellents. Only difference is that there's no fear of malaria or denque fever.... as yet...

Toss up ~ malaria pills & nausea vs. worry & potential illness... The risk is in the choosing, eh!?

Thanks for the posts.

Costa Rica
posts: 24
7. Re: malaria?

Malaria is not really a problem in Costa Rica, dengue might be if you went to some of the remote areas on the Caribbean side and didn't take precautions... I use OFF and - though it initally smells a bit - works wonders with the mosquitoes and the little "noseeums" that can sometimes make a sunset at the beach an ordeal.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 26
reviews: 26
8. Re: malaria?

Come to Costa Rica without worries.- I have never heard of nobody of my friends or their families to have such diseases. You will have to be very unlucky to get one, but at any place in the world, even at home you are exposed to diseases.

Come safe, invest your time in looking what places are you going to visit and enjoy them when you're here.

Take care and have a great trip.-

Costa Rica
posts: 24
9. Re: malaria?

Enjoy CR but plan ahead... dengue is up 72% this year compared to last year (this was on the front page of La Nacion this week, the largest natl paper here). It's the tropics, it's very much the rainy season now, and there are bugs everywhere. Bring OFF, buy those mosquito spirals if you're staying in a room out in the boonies (you won't need the spirals at the PPC, but you will need the OFF - guaranteed) ... but don't forget to enjoy the trip!

Fort Worth, Texas
posts: 557
reviews: 4
10. Re: malaria?

just thought i'd throw in my two cents.. i've only been there during the months of december and january. i, like another poster, envisioned a bite fest and came well prepared with regular 'off' and my wife had found a little 100% deet on clearance at a sporting goods store (i think their outlawed now :) anyway, i can remember hiking through the rainforest in monteverde and at carrara... i mean the MIDDLE of nowhere and thinking 'hmmm... where are the mosquitos?' i think i may have gotten 4 or 5 bites over 9 days. now, maybe my experience is unique AND it was during the dry season AND it wasn't on the caribbean side AND we were armed with repellent... BUT never had a problem :) there's my 2 cents. :)