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anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

United States
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anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

Do I need to get anti-malarial pill for San Ignacio, Belize and Tikal at the end of September? The type of pills my doctor prescribed is pretty expensive...(atovaquone/proguanil) because she said the cheaper kind has bad side effects (nightmare, depression, etc). Any advice would be great.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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1. Re: anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

There is some malaria in both Belize and Guatemala. You and your physician are the only ones who can decide if you need to take the meds.

That said, here's what the CDC has to say.

…cdc.gov/travel/destinations/guatemala.htm

From there, you can find a similar page for Belize.

I've not heard of huge issues with bad side effects from taking Cholorquine, most of what you described is what I associate with the anti-malarial drug, Mefloquine. Chloroquine is very cheap, I'd speak with your physician again and see why he/she would be reluctant to prescribe it.

San Ignacio, Belize
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2. Re: anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

I would never worry about it, and I've never had a friend take them. But, you might want to consult a doctor about it.

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

I usually take Malarone when I use a malaria drug. I'm on my way back to the States right now from Belize I decided to take a prescription this time around. I've found I have the least amount of side effects with Malarone but everyone is different. You'll definitely want to talk with your doctor or visit a travel clinic for the best advice.

Here are the things I keep in mind when making this decision (please make your own choices, this is not a recommendation):

-How many days will I be in a Malaria zone?

-How often will I be out during peak mosquito hours. Only the female mosquitoes draw blood and spread malaria. They are most active in the early morning or dusk. While the males don't bite and are more active during the day.

-Will I be in an area near a city? The presence of malaria requires a combination of high human and high mosquito population density.

I do believe American culture is to over-prescribe medications. But it's all a calculated risk. I took malaria pills on my current visit because I was near San Ignacio (high human density) and was going to be doing a lot of jungle tours during peak mosquito time. This decision felt right for me. Others in my group didn't take medication.

If you get malaria it is a nasty illness that can reoccur years down the road. Symptoms don't show up for a week after you were infected. So be vigilant and see a doctor if you show symptoms. if you decide not to take the medication bug spray or long pants & shirts to protect yourself are a must.

But at the end of the day don't worry about the bugs. Just enjoy the beautiful surroundings Belize has to offer. It's truly a hidden gem in the Caribbean.

Hope this helps!

Jim Bendt - Owner, Travel Beyond

Houston, TX
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4. Re: anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

I have been to Guatemala 5 times, for 2 weeks each and at mulitple times of the year. I stayed in Tikal, Antigua, and San Jose. I never took the pills, and I never got sick. I'd be more concerned if you were going to Africa or something. But I'm not an expert.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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5. Re: anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

Here's a site I found by doing a Google search. I have no idea of the accuracy.

globalhealthfacts.org/data/topic/map.aspx…

There appears to be many more cases of malaria in Guatemala than Belize.

This is different than some statistics i saw a few weeks ago, but, I can't find that link right now.

belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
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6. Re: anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

Cases of both malaria and dengue have fallen dramatically this year since last. I always tell my clients to discuss with their docs, but tell my friends and family not to bother. Chances of catching either are slim to none

7. Re: anti-malarial pills for San Ignacio/Tikal?

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