10 November 2006

To medicate or not

Part of my upcoming trip includes visiting a region of the world that could potential be a hotbed for malaria. Being the (legal) drug-loving American that I am, I called my US health care professional (HCP) and asked what they recommend for the region.

BbB: So should I get malaria pills?
HCP: Oh, yes, we definitely recommend it.
BbB: But I'll only be in the region for four days.
HCP: Even if you were on a cruise, and you got off the ship for a few hours in a malaria-risk area, we would provide a prescription. So yes, do get the prescription.

So I visited the travel clinic in the Netherlands. The HCP happily provided me with a Yellow Fever vaccination, but when I asked about malaria, she shook her head and pulled out a map.

HCP: You see? The area you're referring to is only partly at risk. We only recommend mosquito spray with Deet as a precautionary measure.
BbB: Really? Because my HCP in the US said it was necessary for even a stop of a few hours.
HCP: (smiles) No, we won't prescribe the medication for this area of the world.

Hmmm. Well, wish me luck, as I travel - un-medicated - into unknown territory.

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