World Cup Travel Log: Taking no chance with Malaria, bring on the medication – and wild dreams?

SAO PAULO – I popped my first Malarone pill this morning. This reporter isn’t taking any risks with Malaria, but I’m told the pills might give me some wild dreams along to go along with the obvious medical benefits.

Something to look forward to when I close my eyes at night, I guess.

I’ve got some heavy-duty DEET with me as well, chemicals those pesky Amazonian mosquitos may already be used to shaking off. We’ll see. The USMNT press corps are only in Manaus for 36 hours anyway, so exposure should be brief. Still, safety first.

But while I was busy getting Yellow Fever and Hepatitis shots and building up immunity to typhoid before I left New York City, I’m told the USMNT were given a choice. While presented with the option of complete immunization and preventive measures for their jungle adventure, it wasn’t required for the players or staff.

If they want Malarone and the like pumped through their veins, the docs are ready with syringes and prescriptions. But, like US Soccer’s staff, not all of the players will take the option. Some will take their chances. To each their own when it comes to potentially deadly jungle diseases.

I’m no doctor – not that I need to tell you that – but clearly the risk isn’t that high. Or so US fans would like to believe. If it was, you’d figure those well-compensated medical professionals wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Are you a USMNT fan headed to Manaus for Sunday’s match? How did you prepare for the tropical conditions? Let us know in the comment section below.


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