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Medical Belize concerns

  1. Aug 1, 2008 #1


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    My hubby and I are planning a vacation trip to Belize...not anytime soon, but it will be sometime in the next few years. I have a question about malaria, and tropical diseases in general.

    People I know who have lived in tropical areas have told me that it's not good to get a malaria vaccine. They said it offered only limited protection, and if you have had the vaccine but get the disease anyway it will be much harder to treat. Is this true?

    (BTW: These 'people' I refer to are my parents, who worked for the State Department after us kids grew up. They travelled all over, and this is the advice the SD gave them.)

    I have questions about other diseases as well. From the CIA World Factbook on Belize, in the Major Infectious Disease section:

    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
    water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)

    Dengue fever...hmmm...ya know, I'd rather not get a hemorrhagic fever on vacation!! What can I do to mitigate risk of disease -- specifically, are there any vaccines we can get?

    PS have any PFers been to Belize? How was it?
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  3. Aug 2, 2008 #2


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    First of all, you should always consult a doctor before going to a tropical location: they know exactly what precautions to take for what areas (or at least direct you to a place that does).

    I don't know about the malaria vaccine, I've never heard any such thing.
  4. Aug 2, 2008 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    You want to see someone in Travel Medicine.
  5. Aug 2, 2008 #4


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    I had malaria shots when I was young. Nasty things. But I haven't heard the things you have. You should probably talk to an expert -- a doctor or someone who deals with this sort of thing.
  6. Aug 4, 2008 #5


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    Great! Our experience doesn't necessarily apply to answering your medical questions. It was marvelous.

    We were tank-diving. Based on an offshore coral atoll island. we were scarcely on the mainland---just overnight in Belize City, then catch the little island hopper airplane next morning.

    the island was small and windswept----don't recall any mosquitos. surrounded by beautiful coral you could swim out to. plenty of snorkel if you didn't feel like scuba.
    and also you could take a diveboat out for a halfday or day trip to visit other coral islands where there were no places to stay overnight-----and dive there.

    it was better than anything I've seen in the Pacific, or at Cozumel, or at the Dutch Antilles whatver (Bonaire)

    the world's beautiful coral reefs, all that colorful strange life, seems to be dying out!
    in the Pacific there is a lot of bleached-white dead coral!
    Hurricanes are also destroying reef. It is very sad. and enraging. Maybe Belize is no longer as beautiful as it was 8-10 years ago.

    while we were there we heard wonderful things about the Belize jungle. we weren't tempted though because the clear warm water diving was so fine.
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