In Belize, we have dengue, which has similar symptoms to malaria. Malaria is extremely rare, not a common thing at all in Belize. To illustrate this, I got malaria once, and when the doctor took the blood work, he came back later in the day to take blood again because he didn't believe the results the first time. It was a house call. How wonderful is that?
The doctor came to the house a second time, and said, “Macarena, the test came out wrong. It says you have malaria and we know that cannot be possible.”
So I let Dr. Sanchez take my blood and he came back again and confirmed that yes, it is malaria, but it is extremely rare. So when I tell people that I had malaria, it is such an anomaly because I do not know anyone else who has had malaria.
I had a property way out in the deep jungle near the Manatee area of the coastal road of Belize. There are in-cave systems and in-through areas that were not inhabited for a long time, and the only thing we can figure out is that I picked up something that was dormant there. (Cave in Barton Creek, Belize, pictured.)
When you move to Belize, you have to know that all water systems are not all equal, so most people drink bottled water. As far as bathing and cooking and everything else, we use the regular water that we call "pipe water," better known as "tap water."
The interesting thing for me is that a lot of people come here and they take all these inoculations and get on these anti-malarial medicines and others things that aren’t really needed. If you are coming to Belize, save yourself the time and effort, because you don't need these things.
Coming from St. Petersburg, Florida, you might be worried about catching a flu or catching something from someone who has the sniffles, just like you would in Belize.