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Malaria Situation on Tanna Island

Level Contributor
21 posts
Malaria Situation on Tanna Island

Hi everyone,

Just wondering if anyone has recent info on any malaria outbreaks on Tanna, I realise that it is endemic to the island, but is it more prevelant now? Also, is there plenty of mossies around at the moment? We are heading there in a couple of weeks, will a good repellant with DEET, as well as covering up, coils, permithran treated clothes and bed nets be enough or should we take antimalarials?

Thanks in advance for any help.


Level Contributor
1,336 posts
5 reviews
34 helpful votes
1. Re: Malaria Situation on Tanna Island

We cannot give medical advice as such on this forum Kattie, but I'm heading to Tanna and Santo in just over 4 weeks time and have decided not to take anti-malarials. It is totally up to yourself, and depends where on Tanna you are going and what you are planning to do. We read as much as possible about the risks (there are a lot of threads on the Vanuatu forum if you want to do a search) and decided not to go with anti-malarials

We are staying near Port Resolution in locally run very basic bungalows, but will have mozzie nets, coils to burn in the evenings and lots of strong mozzie repellant. We will try to cover up as much as possible in the evenings and use the repellant religiously. I'm not keen on the treated clothes and bed nets myself, worried about overdoing the toxicity, but if you feel the need to use them then you should.

This is just my opinion of course, and I have no medical training. I hope you have a wonderful time - and come back here and tell us all about it!

Cheers, Barbara

Port Vila, Vanuatu
Level Contributor
1,036 posts
16 reviews
16 helpful votes
2. Re: Malaria Situation on Tanna Island

Hi Paula,

As mentioned there is a lot of information on this issue if you search TA forums. My wife and I lived on Tanna for three years and have been back many times, we have never taken any medication for this (also going back to live there for an extended period next week).

That said there has been cases of Malaria of people living there, however chances of catching it....if cautious by repellent etc are slim indeed.

If you are staying on the airport side your are reducing your potential exposure radicaly.



Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
2,543 posts
1 review
3. Re: Malaria Situation on Tanna Island

i lived on tanna around the same time as john did, also for 3 years. in that time i had at least 3 cases of malaria, one of which saw me in hospital for a couple of weeks! having said that, i was living in a remote part of north tanna which was more likely to result in a case of malaria.

if all you plan on doing is going to one of the resorts, doing a bit of sightseeing etc, then i probably would not be too concerned. use repellent, wear long sleeve shirts and stay indoors at dawn and dusk and you should be fine.

just remember that malaria has an incubation period of 10 days up to 1 month, so even if you catch it you are unlikely to know until you are back home. if you get a fever above 38c go see a doctor straight away - the quicker it's discovered, the easier the treatment process.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
Level Contributor
3,960 posts
28 reviews
40 helpful votes
4. Re: Malaria Situation on Tanna Island

And I always say this but here it is again. Take a low irritant insect repellent as well as the tropical strength one, purely because you tend to use it more often to top up the coverage.


5. Re: Malaria Situation on Tanna Island

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