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Malaria

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kallis1786
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Re: Malaria

Unread postby kallis1786 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:11 pm

Hi everyone. Just a quick question, What is the Malaria risk like in Kruger during June. I have been to the Park hundreds of times including overnight accommodation. Out of all my trips I have only been to the South of Kruger twice, but will be visiting the Park from North to South in June and will mostly be staying in the South. To be honest I have never taken any anti malaria tablets in my life on any visit to the park. So because this time I will be visiting the Park for almost 2 weeks, I am a bit cautios, and my first ever camping trip instead of the usual Bunglow.

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby onewithnature » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:48 pm

Good evening Kallis.

Officially, the whole of Kruger is considered to be relatively low-risk during the winter months of June, July, and August, and indeed during September as well, as these months are considered to be dry. The recommendations from the South African Department of Health and the World Health Organisation for low-risk areas is generally to use sufficient non-drug measures - including plug-in mats, antimalarial sprays/roll-ons, netting, and covering vulnerable body parts (e.g. ankles, wrists, back of the knees, behind the ears, inner thighs, neck and upper back) with clothing. These same organisations do not suggest antimalarial medication during low-risk times (as long as you're using effective non-drug measures), but you will see many other places suggesting medication throughout the entire year despite this. I can only believe that the reason these other organisations do this is to protect themselves legally.

However, one should weigh up the risks of contracting malaria against the (potential) side-effects and/or drug interactions and/or viability of using a particular antimalarial medicine. This is what the WHO and SA Dept of Health have done, but ultimately malaria-risk may vary from person to person, and indeed from area to area, and so there are cases where antimalarials plus non-drug measures may be necessary for some people during low-risk times. However, I have come across very few people where this has been the case.

Personally, I do not use antimalarial medications in low-risk malaria areas, but do still ensure I follow suitable and effective non-drug measures. I still follow this protocol even when I'm camping, for as long as the tent has sufficient (and unbroken) mosquito netting, there should be little difference between the bungalow and the tent. Of course, air conditioning in a bungalow does help to prevent mosquitoes flying around, which is one advantage I can think the bungalow has over the tent.

A low-risk malarial area means that the number of mosquitoes flying around and/or those carrying malaria are lower than during high-risk season. However, low-risk is not no-risk, hence the requirement of still using non-drug measures. If one develops flu-like symptoms (often with a significantly raised body temperature) within about a week of entering a malarial area, rather have a malaria test to determine if you have contracted the deadly disease or not. If necessary, repeat the test.

Hope this helps to answer some of your concerns, Kallis?



Disclaimer: My recommendations here - though based on some experience and some drug knowledge - are not absolute, and further consultation with suitable health-care professionals is suggested before a final decision is taken on whether to enter a malarial area, what prophylaxis to use, and any general factors and limitations that need to be taken into account. Furthermore, I only advise based on what information is given by the person(s) entering the malarial area, but I have no control on the information given to me, and so such information could possibly be incomplete or misleading.
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Re: Malaria

Unread postby rakesh » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:56 pm

Hi Kallis,

In addition to one with nature would like to add that when out in the evenings or at dawn one can use tabbard powder or peaceful sleep and also burn citronella candles while camping.
Personally I have visited the park in both summer and winter season and never took any anti malaria medication due to side effects. But you can definitely decide what you are comfortable with.
In any case precautions are necessary coz better be safe than sorry.

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby missings.a.! » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:10 am

JMO and in supprt of OWN, if one decides to take precautions to prevent being bitten and only that, fine. But when caring for a child IMO there should be no risks taken at all. For me, without children but with a niece and nephew, I would use all precautions available including medication even in the low risk times.

The best is to do a test run of the meds before visiting to see if there are any side effects. Malaria is not to be trifled with and the responsibility of a child is not worth taking any risk at all.

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby kallis1786 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:35 am

Thanks a lot onewithnature and rakesh. Will be taking lots of Peaceful sleep. and will take some citronella. Missings.a you are ryt, if it has kids concerned than I think best option is to take extra precautions.

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Re: Travellers are urged to take necessary anti-malaria medi

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:53 am

Thanks Rakesh.

It does sound as though there has been a very concerning outbreak. I will take heed.
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Re: Malaria

Unread postby onewithnature » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:59 am

The first recommendation for (young) children is always to avoid a malarial area if at all possible!

As the child gets older, and is able to take tablets, it may be preferable to try them on antimalarial medication as well as on the standard non-drug measures. However, as missings.a.! says, one has to do a test run a few weeks before going to the malarial area to see what side-effects (if any) the child may experience on the antimalarial medication.

Ultimately, the parents have to make a decision as to (i) whether to take their child(ren) with them to a malarial area; and (ii) whether to add antimalarial medication to the non-drug measures.

As you can see, malaria-prevention recommendations are not cut-and-dried; there are subjective and personal factors that can alter the general recommendations. :thumbs_up:



Disclaimer: My recommendations here - though based on some experience and some drug knowledge - are not absolute, and further consultation with suitable health-care professionals is suggested before a final decision is taken on whether to enter a malarial area, what prophylaxis to use, and any general factors and limitations that need to be taken into account. Furthermore, I only advise based on what information is given by the person(s) entering the malarial area, but I have no control on the information given to me, and so such information could possibly be incomplete or misleading.
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Re: Travellers are urged to take necessary anti-malaria medi

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:12 pm

Maybe perspective can help here, as it sounds a bit panicky.

29 deaths out of 2278 cases, is about 1.2%.

How many cases out of the hundreds of thousands who went to the areas recommended?

Sure, 29 is 29, but how many people were killed on the roads getting there & back.

Also what is the age profile?
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Re: Travellers are urged to take necessary anti-malaria medi

Unread postby rakesh » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:34 pm

This article has been issued by the Health Department of Gauteng province so the 29 fatal cases are the reported ones. There could be many more cases which might be not reported.
Road accidents in holiday season are always high but even the small number of 29 death cases due to malaria cant be ignored.
Precautions for any age group is recommended. It completely depends on the visitor to the specified malaria affected area what kind of precaution he/she wants to go for.
The age group sensitive to this disease is mostly young children, elderly, pregnant women and immuno-compromised individuals.

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby rakesh » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:58 pm

Onewithnature what is the recommended age for children to start the anti malaria medicines?
My baby is one and half years old so we stay away from the malaria affected areas in summer. We prefer to visit the park during winter when the mosquitos are less active and stay in the cottages. Carry bottles of mortein, coils, cover the baby and avoid going out after it gets dark.

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby rakesh » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:59 pm

Kallis enjoy your long trip in june.

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby kallis1786 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:38 pm

Thanks Rakesh

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby onewithnature » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:41 pm

rakesh wrote:Onewithnature what is the recommended age for children to start the anti malaria medicines?
My baby is one and half years old so we stay away from the malaria affected areas in summer. We prefer to visit the park during winter when the mosquitos are less active and stay in the cottages. Carry bottles of mortein, coils, cover the baby and avoid going out after it gets dark.


The first recommendation is always to avoid taking young children to malarial areas! This is often a difficult thing for parents to stomach, for they so want to go on holiday!

Now, Rakesh, you've obviously decided that you'll do everything in your powers to prevent any mosquitoes biting your child, and indeed if he/she does get bitten by a malaria-carrying mosquito, that he/she does not contract the disease. This last point is vital as malaria in a child, especially a young child, can progress to a fatal stage far quicker than in an adult. Hence the most effective non-drug measures, that are also safe for your child, is essential. Also, you have indeed chosen a relatively low-risk period to go to Kruger.

As to taking antimalarial tablets, it sounds like your child just falls within the weight-category to begin these tablets. Please confirm your child's weight for me, Rakesh, and I'll suggest from there. :thumbs_up: Also, when and where are you going?
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Re: Travellers are urged to take necessary anti-malaria medi

Unread postby Bundi » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:57 pm

You have said it Bush Baptist. It is more dangerous getting to Kruger than being there. MUCH MORE!

I do not want to sound blaze about the whole thing, but for me it is really blah blah. Everybody needs to make up their own minds, but when I read some posts about people who do not want to take their infants to Kruger, I start to wonder about the bubbles we live in today.

People make sure you take precautions in terms of repellent, nets, or similar and you will be fine. I have done the same in most of Africa for 20 years and so have my family and my children from the time they were born and we are still around.

Imagine 800 million Africans, with their babies living within these regions every day. What makes their lives any different than ours? Nothing!

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Re: Malaria

Unread postby rakesh » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Hi One,

Have PM you all the details pls let me know if you want any other info.

Thanks.


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