Adventure Travel and Malaria – Netting the Problem

As I mentioned in this post, there’s some debate out there on the importance of taking a anti-malarial drug for travels in endemic areas. As I said, we opted to go with Chloroquine and a mosquito net for this jaunt through Central America. Of course, if you are going to haul around that net and some Permethrin to add to the repellent effect, it’s good to actually USE it, as I recently discovered in El Salvador.

After a trek across the hot town of Santa Ana with our picks in tow, lugging our way through the congeted market in search of our guesthouse, we finally found a suitable room. A bit dark, but with a good fan and private bathroom. Without much inspection, we took it, set down our bags and went out to explore the city.  The next morning we awoke to find several dozen mosquitoes lurking in the shadows that we hadn’t noticed the day before, and holes in the screens. Compounding the problem, I opted to sleep without so much as a sheet, and by late the next afternoon, dozens of welts rose up all over my body like the ghost of Chicken Pox past.

So the painful lesson in all this is to be a bit more diligent in room inspections abroad, if not before laying down your cash, then certainly before deciding whether or not to get out the net.

El Salvador is endemic for malaria, and I must tell you that right now those Chloroquine tablets are doing quite a bit for my peace of mind.