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My husband and I are both routine blood donors. According to our local blood bank if we travel into jungle areas in Cozumel (to see the ruins for example) we cannot donate blood for a year because it is considered a "Malaria Zone". We are fine, though, if we stay in the populated city and beach areas or on the ship. My question is: Just how bad are the mosquitoes in late October? I'm one of those people mosquitoes just love. Has anyone had a problem with them?
Mosquitoes are generally present after heavy rains. June, September and October are the rainy months here in Cozumel, so it will just depend on the weather. The Red Cross (in the US, at least) normally has the entire Yucatan Peninsula designated as a destination that eliminates the ability to donate blood due to the risk of malaria. This is the first time I have heard of them being so specific about where you can and cannot go. That's good news for regular donors who wish to visit this area of the world!
For what it's worth, I haven't heard of anyone contracting malaria in Cozumel either.
Having just gotten back from Cozumel and Tulum, I can tell you that the mosquitos are bad right now. Cozumel has had lots of rain off and on the past few weeks and the mosquitos are breeding in droves. Same in Tulum.
You will definitely want to wear insect repellant with DEET -- whether you're in Cozumel or Xcaret. Off Skintastic works great and does not stink.
If you're going in January, the mosquitos will be much less of a problem.
Techinically Cozumel and the entire Country of Mexico are classified malaria zones, but there are few, very few cases reported. The CDC will indict the whole country if there is indicatin of infection anywhere in it´s territory.
What Determines Your Individual Risk
All visitors to malaria risk areas are at risk of getting malaria; however, many factors determine the risk to an individual traveler. Even in the same locale, these factors can vary widely over time. From year to year, conditions such as amount of rainfall, the number of mosquitoes, and the number of infected persons in the area will change and may produce a different level of risk than previously seen.
There was recent discussion about this on Wahoo´s Bulletin Board and I believe there are ways around being disqualified from donating. Can´t remember all the circumstances however.
Worry more about DENGUE which you read about in the local paper, or know someone who's had it. Never heard of anyone getting malaria in my 8.5 years on the island. Stay out of the jungle, and be careful around sunrise and sunset when they are most active....