Hello upcoming Amazon travelers!
As you are all likely beginning to visit travel doctors and make a plan for vaccinations and medication, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some additional information, especially with regards to malaria prophylaxis.
Dragons has no specific stipulations or requirements regarding malaria and you should know that it is up to your discretion. We hope the following information from us can supplement info you’ve already received.
As a caveat, and in line with all of our literature, please consult your travel doctor for ALL medical recommendations. We do our best to provide clear information, but also recognize that we at Dragons are not medical professionals and cannot give specific medical advice. This is to be worked out with your doctor, but we encourage you to come to them with questions because it is not uncommon for many doctors to offer blanket-prescriptions while not considering the specific details of their client’s travels.
Also note that many malaria prophylactics have side effects that should be considered before purchasing malaria medication. In addition, it is important to note that medications for malaria do not prevent you from contracting the disease, but they do lessen the associated symptoms.
An important way we can help in your decision with your travel doctor is to give you a very clear breakdown of the regions and altitudes where we will be, which are the two determining factors in coming up with a plan for malaria prophylaxis. We can also provide informative references and, ultimately, we are in full support of whatever regimen your travel doctor has prescribed.
THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL REFERENCES
From the CDC website for Peru:
“Areas with malaria: All departments <2,000 m (6,561 ft), including the cities of Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado. None in Lima province and coast south of Lima, and none in the cities of Ica and Nazca. None in the highland tourist areas (Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca) and southern cities of Arequipa, Moquegua, Puno, and Tacna.”
The Peru courses this summer will spend the bulk of their time in highland areas around Cusco between 2,600 and 5,000 meters above sea level. Each group will descend to the Amazon lowlands to altitudes between 400 and 1600 meters in the Puerto Maldonado areas for no more than 10 days of the program.
Peru 4 Week: The group will begin their program in the tropical lowlands, flying from Lima to Puerto Maldonado on the first day of the course. After no more than 10 days, they will travel overland to the highlands and spend the remainder of the program at altitudes above 2,600 meters.
Peru 6 week: The group will end their program in the tropical lowlands, traveling overland to Puerto Maldonado for the final phase of the itinerary. The remainder of the itinerary will take place at altitudes above 2,600 meters.
While we cannot give specific medical advice, note that the CDC does say the city of Cusco, Machu Picchu and surrounding areas are at altitudes that are above malarial risk areas. For travel to the lowlands, students can being their medications accordingly and make a plan to complete their prescription upon return to the highlands.
Our total time in malarial risk zones, according to the CDC, will be no more than 10 days.
Please talk to your travel doctor about this, bringing a print-up of this yak as well as the sample itinerary (coming soon!) offered on our website and in our catalog and see what they recommend. We will work with whatever recommendations your doctor makes.
We hope this helps, and please send us an e-mail or give us a call if you have any questions. We hope all your other preparation is going well!
Julianne Chandler and the Dragons Administration