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Malaria?

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by NorthernMelody, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

    5,721
    463
    IMHO, your suggestions are incredibly uninformed and irresponsible.

    For openers, your comment, "If you are going for two weeks take Malaria meds, if you are going for months don't bother with them" makes no apparent sense as the longer you're there the more likely you are to be exposed to an infected mosquito. Am I missing something?

    And "...is not as bad as everyone makes out?" Have you asked Lorin Zaret (see my original post) how bad it can be?

    The CDC recommends malaria prophylaxis for the Bay Islands (See--http://www2.ncid.cdc.gov/travel/yb/utils/ybGet.asp?section=YBOne&obj=HN&cssNav=browseoyb). Are you overriding their expertise?

    According to that same link, yellow fever vaccination is not required. However, the original poster apparently has already been vaccinated and this will do no harm.

    As for the comment, "The treatment is Chloroquin and Farmaquin (sp?) anyway, so why take the pills to stop yourself getting it when you can just wait and see if you do, and then take them!," you honestly can't see any reason to prevent a potentially very serious disease just because the drugs used to prevent and treat it maybe the same? Are you aware that once one contracts malaria they can have frequent recurrent episodes for many years despite treatment? This so absurd as to not even dignify a more detailed response.

    By "Chloroquin" I suspect you mean "chloroquine (not capitalized as it's a chemical not a brand name)" which is marketed under brand names such as Aralen. I am not familiar with "farmaquin." Could you possibly mean primaquine, a co-drug sometimes used with chloroquine?

    Think about what you say, Will. People's health and well-being may be dependent upon it.

    Happy holidays.

    DocVikingo
     
  2. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    10,176
    3,073
    Now you've done it. :popcorn: :coke:
     
  3. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

    5,721
    463
    And season's greetings.

    Doc
     
  4. GoProHonduras

    GoProHonduras Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Bay Islands, Honduras
    351
    51
    All I can add is that in 7 years of living on Utila, there have been a handful of cases of Malaria (and I mean a handful), and the cases were suspected to have been contracted whilst on the mainland.

    I even know Physician who on short visits to the island prefer not to take anti malaria medications.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    Warm regards,
    Andy
     
  5. beautybelow

    beautybelow Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: Naples, Florida
    677
    82
    I wonder if Lorin tested positive for malaria. I have had dengue twice and that is what her symptoms sounded like. I couldn't imagine taking anti malaria medication year round, but that would be my personal choice. Is it recommended to do so? I am asking not knowing the answer, so go easy on me.
     
  6. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    10,176
    3,073
    I have spent a lot of time in and around the various Bay Islands and many other tropical destinations. I have never taken the meds, but I bathe in Deet and avoid certain locales on the island.

    Here's the big answer: Do what you decide is in your best interests.

    There is no one answer.

    You're going to do what you are going to do- what you were always going to do, long after some worrisome query in the first post.

    I think we've been down this road once or twice before. Now- where is that "search" engine thingie?
     
  7. beautybelow

    beautybelow Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: Naples, Florida
    677
    82
    google doesnt argue...I mean talk back...sorry, typo. Its just not as much fun.
    <insert funny smiley>
     
  8. Bay Island Diver

    Bay Island Diver IDC Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Roatan
    518
    21
    Thanks Doc, I can be a bit flippant, probably not the most appropriate subject but,

    I believe that the strain of Malaria we get down here in the Bay Islands is non recurrent, please put me right on this if I am wrong as it is a widely held misconception if I am wrong.

    You were correct that the other drug I had to take when I got Malaria was primaquine not farmaquin (i think I must have made that name up while halucinating during my fevers ;-)

    Chlorquine (capitalised because it is the start of a sentence this time) kills the parasite while the primaquine kills the schizonts in your liver (thats what stops it recurring?)

    According to www.malariasite.com/malaria/chloroquine.htm
    "When used as prophylactic at 300 mg of the base/ week, it can cause retinal toxicity after 3-6 years (i.e. after 50-100 g of chloroquine)."

    So I was wrong about months, you shouldn't take it for years but you can take it for weeks or months.

    I still stand by what I said about the most important thing being to identify it quickly if you get it, and if you do THIS PARTICULAR STRAIN of malaria is not as bad as many, and will only put you down for days not weeks. Dengue is very similar and tends to last longer making it more unpleasant than malaria in my experience.

    I think we all agree the main thing which is effective in preventing both Dengue and Malaria is NOT TO BE BITTEN. please use environmentally friendly bug spray and sunscreen lotion - both of which are available in the Marine Park Office - West End.

    Happy holidays everyone from a VERY COLD ENGLAND - no mossies here!
     
  9. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

    5,721
    463
    Hi Andy and Will,

    I agree that odds of a healthy individual contracting malaria in the Bay Islands is quite small. The majority of tourists going there, especially if for only brief vacations with no mainland visits planned, very likely don't take chemoprophylaxis. Moreover, I suspect that many don't even worry much about getting bitten by an infected mosquito, although in their efforts to avoid the torments of no see ums they probably thwart mosquito bites as well. No doubt this group of visitors includes some physicians.

    However, cases do in fact occur and malaria can be serious business. Both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum strains of malaria occur in the Honduras. The former is the most common, while the latter is the most serious. Both may recur.

    Finally, one would suspect that risk is somewhat a function of length of stay and NorthernMelody is going to be in Utila on the order of six months if I'm not mistaken. Given these circumstances, I find her conservative approach to preventing a number of possible nasty diseases to be prudent.

    While she does not specify what antimalarial she has been prescribed, I much suspect it is chloroquine and, provided that no worrisome side effects arise soon after starting the drug, it can be taken for 6 months with very little concern about doing more harm than good. The same can be said for other possible drugs, like doxycycline.

    I think RoatanMan makes an excellent point: "Do what you decide is in your best interests." In this regard, the decision of an individual who has opted to be cautious should be respected and supported.

    Peace and good will to all.

    DocVikingo
     
  10. NorthernMelody

    NorthernMelody Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Ari Atoll, Maldives
    291
    15
    I am indeed taking the chloroquine and I would like to thank you all for the information I have received. It has been very informative. I haven't been online much so couldn't participate as much. Again thanks. I wasn't told anything about this denge fever stuff. Should I know about this or get preventative meds for this?
    CJ
    I love it here!
     

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