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South AmericaTopics specific to South America only.
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Not sure about Malarone in the US but through Central America anti-malarial medication was more economical.
It's a wet day in Bogota and I'm bored so I'll have a rant about anti-malarials as you obviously don't like the price.
My personal feeling is that anti-malarials are a waste of time, money and detrimental to your health for a South American trip unless you are going to some truly remote malarial region. Lots of travellers stock up on them at home before they come away and normally at great expense. Anti-malarial medication is big business but few travellers really look any further than the GP's advice.
I would be very interested to learn how many people have caught malaria on their South American trip. I have not met anyone or even anyone who met anyone who caught malaria doing a standard trip in south America. Anyway that's hardly very scientific!
Please don't think I am being blasé about this. In Africa in certain areas, cerebral malaria is rife and can be rapid and deadly. A strong anti-malarial is a must in my opinion. However, I caught it despite taking an expensive course of Mefloquin (the dreaded Larium). South America is a very different case to Africa though and the malaria strains are less harmful.
My normal course of action is to travel with malaria treatments (quinine sulphate is damned strong and used to treat severe malaria). Something milder is also useful.
I was thinking more of a water pistol !
I have read a fair bit on here about the malaria thing.One was quite interesting about a guy who has had Malaria in Africa.He says that the anti-malarials can hide the symptons for a while, thus delaying treatment.I can see where he's coming from on that one.Deep down i am with you on this but have girlfriend coming with me and her mother will not forgive me if she gets ill.
I spent 6 months in Belize with the Army and worked in the hospital for a while.Never came across any one who got malaria,[that could have been the palladrin and Nevaquin (spelling ?)doing it's job i suppose].Hep 'A' maybe and the usual sexual diseases,plus the odd snake bite.
Where can you get hold of the strong treatment medication you mentioned ?
How's Bogota ?Hope to be there by about Oct./Nov
Bogota is great thank you very much. You'll enjoy it plenty too after the Central American cities. Very comfortable place to hang out for a while.
Probably a prudent choice with the risk of mother in law wrath in addition to malaria.
As for the treatments, you can get hold of quinine sulphate by prescription from your GP. It's pretty unpleasant to take orally and regularly causes nausea. Fansidar is a very common treatment for mild forms of malaria in Africa and is always available locally.
We are in Mexico at the moment, we picked up the recommended drug for most of central america except areas near the darien gap in panama. It is Aracelen or somehing very close to that. 2 months supply for two people cost 30 pesos. My advice is buy it in country, the smae in London would have cost hundreds of pounds plus the malerial drugs recommended change all the time. The only thing you should never do is take Larium as it is worse than maleria by all accounts.
In mexico heading south to central and south america until Jan 06
Thanks guys !
I will probably get them out there then if at all.I really don't want to pay out £5.oo a day for both of us going on the risk assesment of chances of getting Malaria and of the drug actually working with all the possible side effects.Prevention seems to be the best answer.
Not sure this is relevant to the malaria issue. But it's back to the UK on Tuesday morning. I had a last minute buyer come in for the bike but I had spent so much time organising the shipping and getting the bike serviced that I decided to ship it. The anti-narcotics search was pretty thorough (3 hours) and they even took off a tyre! Apparently there are only 3 sniffer dogs at Bogota airport and none are assigned to the cargo companies.
Happy travels up there.
[This message has been edited by mattpope (edited 18 June 2005).]
Why do you say Larium is so bad? Larium (mefloquine) is cheap, effective and easy to take (once a week). i've personally used it on at least 3 separate occasions and never had any issues. Malarone, the other currently popular anti-malarial, on the other hand, is very expensive and must be taken daily. Larium has gotten a bad rap recently as being psychotropic -- causing depression and very vivid dreams. While this may be true in a few cases, it is not a common side effect and I can assure you that it is NOT worse than actually having malaria.
I've traveled in central and south america as well as southern africa and my personal preference is to take larium initially until I'm there and have a better sense of how necessary it is. In Africa I quit taking it pretty quickly as it was the dead of winter in an area without a lot of malaria to begin with. In Peru I took it the entire time I was there, although I'm not sure it was entirely necessary. Malaria is not a fun thing and even after it's seemingly resolved, some forms can live on in your liver for years, popping back up when your immune system is down.
And yes, it may be cheaper to buy them on location, however, to be effective, a couple of doses need to be taken before arrival so that the drug is at a high enough level in your blood to be toxic to the malaria bug.
To each his own, though. I am not a doctor, but I will be in a year.
Originally posted by gbarnard: We are in Mexico at the moment, we picked up the recommended drug for most of central america except areas near the darien gap in panama. It is Aracelen or somehing very close to that. 2 months supply for two people cost 30 pesos. My advice is buy it in country, the smae in London would have cost hundreds of pounds plus the malerial drugs recommended change all the time. The only thing you should never do is take Larium as it is worse than maleria by all accounts.
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