1. Rural areas below 1600m:
There is a high risk of malaria.
Recommended adult regimen:
Mefloquine 250mg weekly. Begin 2-3 weeks before travel to affected area and continue for four weeks after leaving.
Doxycycline 100mg daily. Begin one to two days before travel to affected area and continue for four weeks after leaving.
Atovaquone 250mg plus proguanil 100mg daily (Malarone). Begin one to two days before travel to affected area and continue for seven days after leaving.
Healthcare professionals only may check with the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on 0845 6026712 (9.00-11.45am & 1.00-3.45pm, Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri; 9.00-11.45am, Wed; closed on Bank Holidays).
2. Areas >1600m and Cartagena:
There is low to no risk of malaria. Advise mosquito bite avoidance.
Travellers should be up to date with routinely recommended vaccinations according to the routine UK immunisation programme.
Vaccination could be considered for travellers whose activities put them at increased risk, including those visiting friends and relatives, and frequent or long-stay travellers to areas where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor.
Vaccination recommended for all previously unvaccinated travellers. Hepatitis A vaccine is well tolerated and affords long-lasting protection.
Vaccination recommended for travellers whose activities put them at increased risk, including those at risk due to their work (eg, health workers or those working with animals), those travelling to areas where access to post-exposure treatment and medical care is limited, those planning higher risk activities such as running or cycling, and long-stay travellers.
Vaccination is recommended for travellers 9 months of age and older travelling to areas below 2,300m.
Vaccination is generally not recommended for travel only to the cities of Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, and Medellín, but could be considered for a small subset of travellers who are at increased risk because of:
- Prolonged travel
- Heavy exposure to mosquitoes
- Inability to avoid mosquito bites
Vaccination is not recommended for travel only to areas above 2,300m, the department of San Andrès y Providencia (islands in the Caribbean Sea) and the capital city of Bogota.
Travellers should have completed a primary vaccination course according to the UK schedule. If travelling to a country where medical facilities may be limited, a booster dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine is recommended if the last dose was more than ten years ago even if five doses of vaccine have been given previously.