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Belize Expat Forum

Malaria

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azrpcv
3/8/2018 09:29 EST

I'll be moving to San Ignacio in May. Are mosquitoes a real problem there? If so, is it seasonal? Is it necessary for me to begin taking anti-malarials before departing the U.S.?

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5allan1
3/8/2018 10:13 EST

Malaria is not a problem in Belize. Used to be a few cases back in the day in Toledo district.
The mosquitos carry Dengue and Chikungunya.
The only preventative is repellant though overcrowded local households are more the problem here. Besides its fatal only 1% of the time. . So u r good to go.
There are botflies that lay eggs under your skin that hatch like the alien and doctor flies that can swell body parts if u r allergic. On the coast there are multitudes of itchy sandfleas (Hopkins esp) and then there are fire ants that leave tiny vesicles on your feet that u scratch and acquire cellulitis from. Basically in Belize u r the main entree in an insectivora bistro

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peggyjune
3/8/2018 10:26 EST

I have found, in my travels - to take garlic capsules before and during the trip. I am traveling there next month, so I will find out first hand. No doubt, during the rainier times, there would be more mosquitos. Sturdy screens on the windows - if possible - really helps.

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mgammo
3/8/2018 13:08 EST

I believe Allan is 1,000% correct on this account. My neighbor in Corozol got the Dengue fever while up in the Cayo. An old Belizean man once told me, it won't kill you but it will run you through the wringer. I hosed down with repellant when I was there. My Belizean friends said, you smell rank. I DID NOT care. I also wore those little yellow, spiral coil bracelets which deter insects. I found that the worked quite well. I wear them around my ankles too. I looked at buying a house on the water in Hopkins. The girl who was selling it was honest and told me she had to spry her beach down every day for sand fleas. Who wants to sunbathe lying on a bunch of flea poison? I also ran into a Gringa tourist once after she had come back from San Pedro. Her legs were eaten alive with sand flea bites. I personally have never been bitten by fleas in San Pedro. I should have asked her where she was....I did get bitten by a Docta fly. It is called a Docta fly because it will send you to the Docta! That is when I decided I would never be in Belize with out a high powered Cortisone steroid cream as I was at that time. The locals use Vics Vapo Rub on those bites and it works fairly well. I was living in a very humble , local home at the time. I really got a bird's eye view into Belizean culture..........

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mgammo
3/8/2018 13:25 EST

Oh yeah, I forgot about the fire ants.. My dog food bowl can cover up in minutes. If I could only take in three things to Belize, a prescription strength cortisone cream would be t the top of the list. I would also take in diatomaceous clay in case a scorpion bit me. I ALWAYS checked my shoes before I put them on. I hope people don't think we are just being nay sayers towards Belize by being honest with them. I love being in Belize, I also am thankful I know a few of the ropes and know how to function down there. Insects and problems exist in Belize that some of us may be privy to in the states. I am from the deep south so I know about mosquitoes. It is a good idea to befriend the locals they have been surviving down there generations they are a wealth of pertinent knowledge. I would say 90% of my friends in Belize are Belizean.. We are simply being honest about potential pitfalls one can encounter in Belize. I hope no one views my as cynical because I am not...I would rather come on a forum where people just layed it out warts and all... It is helpful if those who know can give valid information that can help new people out...Some will disagree, but maybe their experiences have been different and they have not learned what some one else may know....Belize is a third world country. Some of us are predispositioned to thrive in such a place, some of us are not. The only way to find out is to do "do Belize. I asked that Gringo billionare who owns Crystal Auto once a million questions. His advice to me was, Wellll.. you should need to go on and just do Belize......Sorry for such a lengthy post...

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mgammo
3/8/2018 13:27 EST

Some of us may NOT be privy to... Correction...sorry

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terrific
3/8/2018 16:22 EST

back in the 90's on our first time in Belize, we lived on reclaimed swamp and as soon as the sun started going down you had to be inside or somewhere away from the area as it was dinner time for the Mozzies and people were the main course. I was informed if it crawls flies slithers and bites it lives in Belize, seems accurate. Luckily where we are now we are fortunate to have few really nasties but we do have lots of Bats in the surrounding Jungle. My husband swears by Gin and tonic to avert Malaria, and good screens.
Also my son disturbed a 6 foot side winder snake while walking the dogs last night, it sped back into the jungle as the dogs went for it. Dissappointed dogs relieved son.

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mgammo
3/8/2018 16:25 EST

Is that winder snake the lasher snake? The one that strikes with the tail and mouth? An old Belizean man of East Indian descent told me if I puree garlic and slather my Wellingtons in it no snakes would come near me. I did this and went into a lagoon right after rainy season and dis not see one snake!

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jlydia
3/8/2018 19:22 EST

I was in San Ignacio for week last Sept and did not see a mosquito. I walked the street and ate outdoors at night and walked down to the river. Maybe it was the right time of the year for mosquito free weather.
I spent a few days in Hopkins on the coast and no mosquitoes either.

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terrific
3/8/2018 20:04 EST

Mgammo He didn't get that close to see the dogs went charging to it and it coiled then sprung into the air and into the bush and the dogs chased but obviously didn't find it again. My son was not going to look for it.

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azrpcv
3/9/2018 11:07 EST

Thank you all for your insightful and very helpful comments. As a result, I will make Belikin my antimalarial of choice.

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