People often ask me if they should take anti-malarial medication while visiting Roatan. While Dengue Fever and Malaria can be contracted here, both are quite rare. I did have Dengue Fever last year, which was caused by these “turdwad” mosquitoes (watch the video). I had been here for two years when I got it, so I’m going to venture to say those of you visiting for a week have an unbelievably low chance of getting either disease.
I do not recommend taking anti-malarial medication while visiting Roatan. The medication can mess with you much more than the odds of you actually getting Malaria. Most doctors tell you not to bother, but I have had people tell me their doctor recommended it for some reason. I would guess that doctor is probably unfamiliar with Roatan and simply assumed anywhere in Central America could be problematic. Make your own medical decisions as I am no professional, but if you’re asking my advice: you don’t need anti-malarial medication on Roatan.
However, there are mosquitoes here. And they are terrible little bastards! So you should also use lots of bug repellent while you’re here. OFF is the island perfume of choice in Roatan – our Eau de DEET as we call it. It’s effective and easily obtainable in every mini-mart on the island. You can’t avoid the mosquitoes in a tropical area, but you can try to coexist as best you can, despite their being horrible little creatures.
Check out this informative and interesting video to learn more about who they bite and why! You can (and should) subscribe to the SciShow YouTube channel for more fascinating videos.
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