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Belize, North America and Caribbean

Malaria Risk Travel Information

What is the risk of malaria in Belize?

Malaria risk is low throughout the year in rural areas.  Local transmission of malaria does not usually occur.  Malaria is not present in Belize City and the Islands, for example, Ambergis Caye and Caye Caulker 

 

Please check HERE to see a malaria risk map of Belize on fitfortravel (an NHS website).

 

So what else can I do to prevent malaria?

All travellers should, however, follow the bite avoidance measures below:

  • Use mosquito nets impregnated with Permethrin or Deltamethrin. These insecticides kill mosquitoes instantly by acting on their central nervous system. During the daytime, tie the net in a knot and leave it hanging from the ceiling. At bedtime untie the net and check carefully for hidden mosquitoes or any tears. Holes or tears must be mended with adhesive tape or thread. Tuck the edge of the net under the mattress and make sure there are no openings.
  • Apply insect repellent to all exposed areas of skin, avoiding eyes and mouth. Also apply to clothing, reapplying frequently in accordance with the manufacturer's directions. We advise the use of N, N-diethylmetatoluamide (or DEET to you and me) containing products. DEET has been widely used for over 50 years and has quite clearly been shown to be one of the most effective repellent products. The use of 50% DEET products is usually sufficient in normal conditions. Our range of insect and mosquito repellent products can be found here.  If you wish to use non DEET products we would recommened products that contain Saltidin which has been adopted as a suitable alternative to DEET by the WHO.  Example products include Trek Sensitive, Lifesystems Expedition Sensitive and Malaway.
  • From sunset onwards here are a few free and easy tips to reduce the chance of getting bitten. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, obvious, we know, but this will at least reduce skin available to be bitten. Wear Light colours as these attract mosquitoes less than dark clothing. Remember that aftershave and perfumes will tend to attract mosquitoes, so going without could help reduce the risk of being bitten.


Chikungunya virus infection in Caribbean islands and the Americas

This is a virus passed on by being bitten by infected mosquitos. The incubation period is typically 3–7 days and symptoms include acute onset of fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, conjunctivitis, nausea/vomiting, or rash. The symptoms usually go within 10 days but in some may last months especially the elderly and people with underlying health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes.


As this is a virus, there is no medication to prevent or treat the disease and anti-malarial tablets such as Chloroquine will not have an effect on it.

Bite avoidance measures should be taken and followed firmly to reduce the likelihood of being bitten.

The affected mosquitoes tend to bite during the day so wear long sleeved clothing and trousers wherever possible and ensure that a strong insect repellent is used and reapplied regularly, especially after swimming.  

You should also sleep under a mosquito net and if you are staying for a long time or are unsure of the hotel/hostel, it would be advisable to take a battery operated or plug in mosquito killer for your room to kill any lingering mosquitos.


What Vaccines do I need for Belize?

Below is a table designed to show you what vaccines are mandatory, recommended or ones to consider when visiting Belize:

CholeraHepatitis AHepatitis BJapanese EncephalitisMeningitisRabies
 Rec   Con

 

TetanusTick Borne Encephalitis Typhoid Yellow Fever Vaccine
Rec  Con  

 

Man = Mandatory
Con = Consider
Rec = Recommended
Req = Required if visiting from an area with risk of transmission

Other countries in North America and the Caribbean »

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