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 Post subject: Re: Malaria around Shingwedzi and further north.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:54 am 
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Thanks for all the replies. Yes I recon taking Malaria tablets in an infected area is like wearing a safety belt in your car or a helmet on your bike. In many years of driving I relied on these devices only twice (one each). Like the possible side effects of chemo-prophylaxis, safety belts and helmets are not comfortable. Fact is if I did not take those precautions on the day, I would most probably not have been sitting here typing this.

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 Post subject: Re: Malaria around Shingwedzi and further north.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:14 am 
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Thanks ndloti for the informative info. :thumbs_up:

For what it is worth WKK, a friend of mine is a professor in infectious diseases and what he does is take precautions like covering up and sprays, and would treat any flu symptoms upon return as malaria, but has not had to yet.

It is a personal decision.

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 Post subject: Re: Malaria around Shingwedzi and further north.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Even in the North of the park, your risk of contracting malaria during the winter months is very low. During this time we do not recommend taking antimalarials. The risk of serious adverse effects (which is not huge) outweigh the risk of contracting malaria. There is, however, still a low risk. So one should always use mosquito repellant, burn coils or mosquito plates - especially at dusk and dawn, and try to avoid mosquito bites.

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 Post subject: Re: Malaria around Shingwedzi and further north.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:49 pm 
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At this point in time myself and SO plan not to take the tablets and be watchful for flu-like symptoms for some time after our visit. For my son the situation is different. We live on the flower-rich Cape West Coast. He is very allergic to pollen etc so very regularly shows flu - like symptoms when it is really hay-fever related. We will be returning home just as the flower season starts mid July. It will be very difficult to distinguish between flu/hay-fever/malaria in that time. Also our hospital is 160 km away so difficult to react quick enough if the fever kicks in. Sure the risk is low, but how low should the risk be before you take a chance with your child's life by not giving him the tablets? We happily survived lions harassing us in our tents last year in Kgalagadi (Bots side). Would be ironic to be bumped over by a mozzi after that experience :? . We don't want to deprive our kids of experiencing the wilderness, but in doing so we want to take maximum precaution as far as their safety is concerned. If he shows side effects, then we will handle it from there.

We got a prescription for Mefloquine for our son. Advantage with it is he starts taking it a week+ before departure (once weekly dosage from a week or 2 before departure). If he shows bad side-effects, there will be time to switch to Atovaquone - Proguanil (day before and then daily).

I suppose it will be nearly impossible to keep track of all Kruger related Malaria cases, since tourists contracting Malaria after visiting the Parks has no obligation to inform Parks of the illness and if there are stats available, it is seemingly not released. I was hoping for direct and recent info but as ndloti mentioned, most data is ambiguous and generalized. Thanks for all the feedback :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Malaria around Shingwedzi and further north.
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:41 pm 
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Everyone does some research, and makes a personal decision based on what they feel is best for them.

I would consult your Dr and hear what he has to say.


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 Post subject: Re: Malaria
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:43 am 
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Sorry if this was asked before ...
Does anyone know the rate of malaria infections now 2000 compared to the 1970's and 80's ?
What is done today to stop the mozzies ?
Compared to the DDT of the 70's and 80's ?


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 Post subject: Re: Malaria
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:14 am 
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The choice of malaria prophylaxis needs to be made in consultation with your doctor. The different drugs have different side effects, and a full history and examination will need to be performed to determine the drug that is best suited to the patient. Drugs that are effectively used as prophylaxis in the Kruger Park are Doxycycline, Mefloquine and Atovaquone-Proguanil.

The medical practitioners in the park are Dr Gary Peiser and Dr Ninette Muller who are based at Skukuza. The number for their surgery is 013 735 5638. You can also visit their website on http://www.krugerdoctors.co.za/.

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 Post subject: Re: Malaria around Shingwedzi and further north.
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:04 am 
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In this so-called information age, it is amazing how few people are actually informed. :hmz: (Then again, they also say that we live in a paperless society, but I'm sure the trees would not agree. :whistle: ) This applies to subjects accross the board, and malaria is certainly no exception. I think the problem is that there is just too much information out there and, sometimes, there are sites and people which offer substandard, and maybe even downright incorrect, information. The result is a melee of confusion which can lead to even educated, sensible people doing the wrong things. The basics of malaria prophylaxis are non-drug measures all year round in all malarial areas, with the recommended addition of chemoprophylaxis (antimalarial medications) in all high-risk areas (assuming, of course, that the traveller is medically able to use such medication or travel to a malarial area). The attribution of risk in any area can be deduced from competent malaria-risk-areas maps, and hence the traveller to such areas can make informed decisions in association with a competent health professional based on the risk in that area at that time of year and the susceptibility of the person to contracting malaria (which also includes a personal medical history and risk-factors assessment). Like Weskusklong's excellent metaphor, malaria prophylaxis can be likened to the necessary, but generally restrictive and/or uncomfortable, use of a seatbelt to minimise risk of death when involved in a close-encounter with it. However, that prevention should never be ignored, for it only takes one accident or one mosquito. Ndloti's understanding that the density of human population is related to malaria risk in malarial areas is correct, to a point: the number of people bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes increases the number of human vectors that can transmit the disease. However, malaria is a multifactorial disease and meteorological and other factors also affect the prevalence of mosquitoes at any given time. Perhaps then, to be too specific and detailed in predicting malaria risk over short time periods might entertain similar pitfalls of inaccuracy inherent in trying to be too specific with, for example, weather predictions - the number and variation of fluctuating factors (both malarial and human) is too complicated to generate an accurate model, and hence there is most probably value in maintaining conservative and acceptable guidelines, as is generally done by competent advisers. People will always have different attitudes to risk - some are sensible and some are maverick (perhaps this reflects the diversity of the human condition) - but it is essential that people make their decisions consciously knowing what the risks are, and then remain vigilant for any signs of malaria so that, if necessary, treatment can begin timeously. It must never be forgotten that malaria is a preventable disease and that there is no excuse for neglect.

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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 Post subject: Re: Malaria
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:56 pm 
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The message is very simple -
GO AND SEE YOUR DOCTOR OR OTHER APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL WHILE INITIALLY PLANNING YOUR TRIP.
ACT ON THAT ADVICE.
Would you take advice on your financial dealings from a bus driver NO!!
Regards
JDW

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 Post subject: Re: Malaria
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:15 am 
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Thanks for the reinforcement, JDW. :thumbs_up: (Actually, I once heard of a bus driver who eventually took over the bus company; however, I guess that doesn't happen too often, eh. :wink: :lol: )

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 Post subject: Re: Malaria
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:45 am 
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OWN is able to advise on malaria and his patience in continually responding to people's queries is infinite.

For my two pennyworth as someone who is NOT a medical professional, but has visited the Kruger and surrounding areas on a number of occasions, I would take advice on preventing being bitten, as many forumites have spent years developing methods of keeping their families and themselves bite free.

However! Over and over, OWN stresses to visit your doctor and discuss malaria with him, because he knows your family's medical history and any allergies and can prescribe the correct antimalarial medication.

Personally, I think it is madness to take risks in a High Risk area and especially to take risks with children, who have no say in their own safety.

I have been bitten by mosquitos on my nose, eyelids and goodness knows where. It is practically impossible to guarantee you will not be bitten, especially when you taking a bath or shower. Very few of us are experienced enough to react immediately at the sign of malaria. Look at Bruce Bryden and what a loss there to his family and the rest of the world.

I read all the time here of Brits who go to African countries and develop malaria very rapidly and die.

so I will do a test run of any medication my doctor advises.


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 Post subject: Re: Malaria
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:48 am 
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Thank you Missings; you are very kind. :thumbs_up: But you are also knowledgeable and sensible, and articulate your thoughts diplomatically and expertly. I always appreciate your posts. :clap: :clap: :clap:

The problem I have noticed is not that there is insufficient information, but that people - especially many who have been visiting malarial areas for years - become complacent. Southern African malarial areas, relative to the tropical areas of the world, are mostly lowish risk; so people that have been entering and exiting them over a lifetime have a good chance of never having contracted malaria. Which makes so many of them think that malaria is overexaggerated in these areas. An officially-described lower-risk malarial area means that fewer cases of malaria are known. However, such numbers are invariably underexaggerated because many of the cases of malaria contracted there are never reported back to the source. It is usually only when high profile people, like Bruce Bryden, tragically succumb to the disease that the general public sit up and take notice again. I think this psychological malaise is somehow integral to the human condition; hence I find myself having to continually remind people of the risks. Some will never listen, but the majority usually do heed advice and take suitable precautions. Though it sounds most hackneyed, it takes but one infected mosquito to pass on the disease, and if the recipient or his or her family is not sufficiently vigilant, a tragedy is in the making. I cannot overemphasise that, during high-risk malarial times, it is essential to, if possible, take both suitable antimalarial drugs and supplement with non-drug measures. In low-risk times, sufficient and suitable non-drug measures are advised as enough for healthy individuals. However, the special groups - pregnant women, young children, immunocompromised individuals, and the like - need specialised advice as their presence in a malarial area is mostly fraught with increased danger.

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TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
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 Post subject: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:54 pm 
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Thanks to reading this forum about Wilderness Trail, my wife and I ventured to go on four back to back Wilderness Trails during February-March of 2013, our third visit to KNP. We would have never considered such a venture without great information from all of you. We just want to say many thanks. Our first trail was Bushman (just two of us) followed by Metsi-Metsi, Sweni, and Napi. What a great experience. We also enjoyed our stay several rest camps, including Lower Sabie, Satara, Berg-en-dal, and Pretoriuskop. Prior to visiting KNP, we spent three days at Nselweni Bush Lodge at Imfolozi-Mpila - which we highly recommend.

We would be more than happy to assist anyone based on our experience.

Also, we like to point out a great product available in the US - not sure its availability in other countries - we did not see this product available in South Africa - our contribution to this forum. It is chemically called Permethrine - apporved by the US EPA for use in human and animals for killing ticks and mosquitoes - it is not a repellent. It is available on Amazon.Com It is truly an effective product - one would wet the clothes with 0.5% solution - which is good for 10 washes. Believe me any tick or mosquitoes touches treated clothes would be dead in seconds. We did provide this to few Wilderness Trail Rangers - they were all amazed how effective this product is. This product is available at 0.5% solution for immediate use or 36% solution for use in farm - which is to be diluted with water before use. 36% solution is very inexpensive and can make enough product to last life time. This is not effective on human skin as in disintegrates quickly to harmless components - may be the major reason why EPA has approved it for human use. We used it throughout our trip to KNP and did not experience any tick or mosquito problems.

Due to this unique experience, we will be going on to four more back to back Wilderness Trails this November-December period - starting with Wolhuter and followed by Sweni, Olifants, and Napi. We hope to do Nyaland some day - when it is fully functional.

Again, many thanks to all participants on this great forum - without which we would have missed this great experience in our life.


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 Post subject: Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:50 am 
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hemant I guess similar products are available in the outdoor and Parks shops in SA, under a different name perhaps.

hemant wrote:
we will be going on to four more back to back Wilderness Trails this November-December period - starting with Wolhuter and followed by Sweni, Olifants, and Napi


Enjoy your upcoming wilderness trails :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:16 pm 
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When we were in South Africa this past February - March, we did not find any permethrine based product in stores we checked - including stores at several Kruger Rest Camps. Since we had extra concentrated product, we offered to rangers at three Wilderness Trails and they were quite impressed as how effective this product is. They also checked where they purchase their mosquito repellents but could not find any permethrine based product. They did ask us if we can ship this item from the US - unfortunately this being insecticide, we are unable to as none of the shipping carriers would ship it for us. We are very surprised that this is not widely available and widely used in place like South Africa - particularly against tick.


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