malaria pills?

Mar 30th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
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malaria pills?

Does any one know if we need these for Caribbean CR travel? -or CR travel in general?
fatbass is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:04 AM
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From what I was told, no. I was told that there is malaria in Panama but not Costa Rica. I'd check with your doctor.
tbelgian is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:18 AM
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We had the same question when planning for our trip last Dec. According to the CDC, there are some areas in CR at risk for malaria. Check out their website. We were going to be in some of those areas (Arenal and Tamarindo) so we went ahead and took the pills without any of the adverse side effects. Please note that you have to start taking the pill a week before departure and then continue taking them for a brief period of time upon your return. You take the pill once a week. I don't think I was bitten once despite never applying bug spray. The long pants probably helped. For me, it was better safe than sorry, but I get the distinct impression most people don't bother with the precaution. A hepititus shot is, however, strongly recommended.

dcd is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 07:08 AM
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We, too, decided to take the pills. We would be near the area the CDC said was risky. We had no problems at all. Even though I got no bites, my kids got quite a few. I was glad we did, especially with kids - I didn't want to take the chance with them. We also made sure we were all up to date with Hep A and B.
dhswor is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 07:41 AM
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Travelling to CR in May - my wife and I have not had any Hep shots and did not plan this trip far enough in advance to get through the vaccination cycle. What are thoughts on travelling w/o having had the shots? Do others do this?
rdp is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 09:33 AM
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I traveled in MA & Alajuela last June. Didn't get any shots nor felt I needed them. It's a personal decision.
tully is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 03:02 PM
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Our doctor recommended pills for the Arenal area. We took them. It was once per week for six weeks.
Rick_B is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 05:58 PM
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We visited our travel clinic that is part of our local health clinic. They showed us a CR map and there is malaria on the whole eastern half of Costa Rica.

However, the good news is there is a new pill out there that you only have to take once a day for one day before you leave, during your stay, and three days after you get back. So it ends up being a very short time compared to what it used to be with once-a-week pills. Ask your doc about Malarone.

They did make sure we were up to date on our Hep shots too. It is never too late to start Hep vaccinations. Even one will help for a trip coming up soon, but be sure to finish the series for lifetime protection.
jetskreemr is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 03:52 AM
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the downside to the malaria preventative, Malarone, is that it's much more expensive than chlorequine, which is usually prescribed for Costa Rica.
JeanH is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 09:38 AM
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Husband and I didn't take anything--my doctor said it's not necessary. Some people do, some don't.
allison04 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 05:51 PM
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Personal choice on malaria pills. I have never done in 3 trips. If I was going into remote jungle, absolutely. Hep A is better choice to have for anyone who travels anywhere abroad. Tetnus up date(booster every 10 yrs) is also good for anyone, anytime. This is not Mexico, so food and water are safe as long as as you use common sense regarding food & water and stick to "touristy areas". Outside of those areas, take more precaution. Bottle water available everywhere if you need it. Taking travel sizes of hand sanitizer makes good sense. I've never been sick of all the trips I've made. Have fun !
Txtrav1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 03:02 AM
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Message to rdp:
We, too, didn't have enough time to get whole Hep. series before traveling to CR, but were told one shot would provide enough protection for the trip. As another poster said, it's then recommended that you finish the series after returning from the trip. We got that one shot just a couple of weeks before leaving for CR. As a side note, insurance didn't cover the hep. shots and they were pretty expensive, so ask first if you're worried about the $ aspect.
jeg is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 03:24 AM
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our health insurance paid for all the vaccinations we needed. we went to our hospital's "travel clinic" which told us what we needed. as we were told, it depends upon the area of any of the countries you are traveling to...not necessarily the entire country itself.
tmt is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 03:24 AM
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I just wanted to point out what I think might be a common misconception. If you look up reports in CR for malaria outbreaks, it might say the Alajuela or Guanacaste province. This are huge areas! If you look into it more, you find most cases are from the CR/Nic border which is not where the majority of tourists wind up.
tully is offline  

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