Pantanal in early September - do we need malaria medication?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Aug 18, 2013 6:25 PM Last Post By: rajdagindia
Aug 1, 2013 7:59 PM
Pantanal in early September - do we need malaria medication?Hi
I know anti-malaria medication is a hugely debated topic, and I don't really want to open that can of worms, so my question is specifically about the pantanal region.
We have doxy and both took it with no problems throughout our time in South East Asia (jungle areas in Laos and Borneo), and we will begin taking it again soon for our trip into the Amazon from Rurrenabaque. We have been following the guidelines from our GPs in the UK and using the 'fit for travel' malaria maps, however this is where my confusion starts, looking at the Bolivia map there is a 'high' risk all the way down the east side if the country where it borders Brazil, but the Brazil map shows little risk for what I can work out is the Pantanal area....which as far as i can work out borders Bolivia, and I assume that Mosquitos do not obey country borders.
So I was hoping someone could give us some advice, I have read that during the dry season there are few Mosquitos and no malaria risk, is this true? Or is there in fact a significant malaria risk in the area that would warrant anti-malaria medication? If so we are going to need some more doxy! So my final question, is this available over the counter in Boliva or Argentina (our next two countries)?
Thanks very much.
Aug 1, 2013 8:16 PM
1To answer your last question first, doxycycline is available OTC (and cheaply) all over South America. Check expiry dates before buying.
It is notoriously difficult to rely on the UK maps provided by GPs - far too many British doctors don't even bother to ask exactly where you're going and prefer to cover their backsides by saying you should take prophylaxis. I visited the Pantanal in early October and while there were quite a lot of insects, I used liberal 80% DEET and did not get bitten, even once, in 4 days. You might not be able to find that where you are, and while lower concentrations of DEET are effective, they need to be applied with much greater frequency.
I doubt it is necessary to continue your doxycyline while in the Pantanal, but if it gives you peace of mind it is easy to purchase in situ.
Aug 2, 2013 10:18 AM
Aug 3, 2013 3:34 PM
3Thanks for your replies :)
It is reassuring to know we can pick up some more doxy fairly easily if we need to. I'm still not sure what we will do, but the more people we speak to, the more it seems it would be unnecessary, and neither if us are a fan of taking medication unnecessarily.
It's very interesting what you say about Rurrenabaque devino, I had assumed the Amazon in general was a risk area, but I guess Rurrenabaque is on the very edge, maybe that makes a difference? It does seem that the NHS very much just cover their backs in terms of Malaria, many Europeans we spoke to in Asia were just advised to buy an "emergency" amount of malarone if they thought they had symptoms....we didn't even have this option explained to us.
Aug 5, 2013 12:10 PM
Aug 18, 2013 6:25 PM
5According to what I have read and advice from agencies there is no malaria in the Pantanal, Dengue only occurs in the cities, not in the Pantanal itself (mostly in the rainy season), and while it has been a long time since anyone got Yellow fever, you may need proof of the vaccination to enter the country or leave for another depending on where you have been and/or are going to.
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