Some will recommend that you absolutely need to carry anti malaria pills when traveling to Roatan, and others will say that you don’t need the pills. Below is an overview of the two opinions. We recommend consulting your health care provider to make the ultimate decision.
Opinion: You Should Take Anti Malaria Pills When Traveling to Roatan
Those that argue that it would be irresponsible to not take anti malaria pills in Roatan say it’s not worth the gamble and risk. It’s a lifelong illness.
Although rare, Roatan has had incidents of Malaria on parts of the island. The medicine is inexpensive, effective and a great alternative to potential hospital treatment. The CDC recommends taking anti malaria pills in Roatan, so you should too.
Additionally, they note that Zika, Dengue and Chickungunya are also concerns in Roatan. The best protection against this is DEET or other highly protective bug sprays. See our blog post on avoiding the bugs in Roatan for more information. Although bug spray is an added layer of protection, those that favor taking anti malaria pills in Roatan will say that it’s not enough.
Recommended Medications Include:
Lastly, the proponents of taking the meds say that anytime their are children involved and you are responsible for the safety and well being of another life, take the pills!
Opinion: You Don’t Need Anti Malaria Pills in Roatan
Those that say the pills aren’t necessary argue that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are overly cautious with their recommendations and often have a financial incentive to make their recommendations. They also argue that although Roatan is considered a “Malaria Region”, the label was placed due to the higher rate of exposure in mainland Honduras. On top of that, the cases of malaria in Roatan were in the heavily wooded areas, places that tourists likely will no visit frequently. There are over 50,000 people on Roatan and yet only a dozen or so cases of malaria a month, when you factor in the amount of monthly tourists, the chances of getting malaria are extremely low.
They also stress that there is no official “need” or “requirement” to take the medications.
Last, is the unfortunate side effects of some of the anti malaria medications. These can included blurred vision, upset stomachs, vivid dreams, and rashes.
The Guide includes:
- Roatan secrets only the locals know
- Hand-drawn maps to help you navigate West Bay
- Detailed information about the best resorts, restaurants, and activities
- Money saving tips for Roatan
- And MORE!