Jul 13th, 2004, 05:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I just noticed that of the places we're planning on going in Costa Rica (January), the only place that the CDC lists as a definite malaria area is Alajuela. When I thought to book Xandari for our last 2 nights in Costa Rica, I didn't even think to consider the potential malaria risk. But I've since read quite a lot of material that suggests avoiding Alajuela (and mosquitos always get me-- even if I've got protection). Of course that got me wondering about Dengue fever also-- and wondering if maybe the whole trip is a not-so-great idea for us "oldsters." By the way, I'm not by nature a worrier-- but I am given pause by these new findings. (I feel dumb for not having properly considered such possibilities long before this; our trip plans are virtually complete now!-- thanks in large part to these postings....) And thanks again!
poss is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 08:15 AM
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I would not worry about it. I've been to CR 9 times, and always spend a day or two in Alajuela. I have never had a problem with mosquitos in the area....and they love me too, so I'm surprised by the CDC report. I know that Dengue is more prevalant than Malaria, but in January when it's so dry? Like I said, I'd not worry at all! Just MHO
Ally is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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I've had more bites since being home in Pittsburgh than I had my entire trip. I may have gotten bit once or twice in Tamarindo - and nothing in Alajuela. You should be ok - but of course, you might want to see what your dr says.
sclubb is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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We are going to CR in Aug and will also be staying in Alajuela for a few days. Our doctor recommends anti-malarial medication so we have purchased it. We start taking it several days before we leave. It may not be necessary, but I figure we should be safe than sorry.

Kwoo is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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I think the CDC is referring to the northern Alajuela province which is not the City of Alajuela. Check it out on a map. I believe the malaria risk is in the northern regions closer to Nicaragua. Also, Chloroquine is an effective anti-malaria pill for that area. It is very mild on the body for most people and you only have to take it once a week. We are traveling to many areas, including northern Panama, so we chose to take it. We started the pills last week and have had NO side effects. Please don't cancel your wonderful trip! Most peope visit Costa Rica without taking any anit-malarials.
LA_FadeAway is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 11:25 AM
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LA Fadeaway is right. The CDC is referring to the province of Alajuela. I think our doctor wants us to take the anti-malarial medication because we are considering going to the Cano Negro Reserve which is in northern Alajuela province, close to Nicaragua. We will be taking Chloroquine, also. Glad to hear that LA Fadeaway is not having any side effects!
Kwoo is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I would not worry about the mosquitos. When we were there a few years back in March the only mosquito we saw the entire trip was in the van from the airport!

You will love Xandari. It is a beautiful place. Be sure to save a day to explore the hotel grounds and hike to the waterfalls. It is magical. I would go back in a heartbeat.

JoniC is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Please remember, if you decide to take an antimalarial, that you should take any medication for some weeks AFTER leaving the endemic area (i.e. after getting back home). The drugs are only effective in killing the parasite during a brief part of it's "life cycle in side you," so you need to have the drug on board through at least one or two parasite life cycles AFTER you have been exposed.
jhw is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 10:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,183
This is true. Our doctor told us to take the Chloroquine for four weeks after we return.
LA_FadeAway is offline  
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