Subject: Re: Malaria, mosquitos, any advice?
Hi JoAnne,

While city dwelling is somewhat protective against some tropical diseases in areas such as South America, I would not (at this point) be comfortable extending that to sub saharan Africa. While the side effect profile of mefloquine isn't great, you have to weigh that against the risk of actually contracting malaria, and then having to treat (or at least initiate treatment) the infection in a hospital in Ghana. The malarial parasite is becoming increasingly resistant to the more common anti malarial drugs (including, unfortunately mefloquine, although it's still the best option for prophylaxis) which are most likely available in places like Ghana.

I've never had to treat a case of malaria, but from what I learned about it in school (years ago) it's a terrible infection, and requires treatment for a prolonged time. On balance, if it were myself, I would certainly take the prophylaxis. As for the university health center, you'd be surprised...most teaching institutions of this type will have a tropical diseases clinic devoted to just this type of population, or at the minimum, Infectious Disease experts that can either corroborate or refute what I've just told you.

John T. Wiernikowski Hamilton, ON CANADA