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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:29 pm 
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Meg wrote:
Does anyone know what Malaria is like in the Park in March?

March is one of the months during which malaria can be contracted in KNP, so I would agree with WTM that you should be very careful and to almost avoid Mikey entering the Park. :(

I found the following bit of information on this website.

Quote:
Risk present in low altitude areas of northern and eastern Mpumalanga, Northern Province and north-eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal (including Zululand) as far south as the Tugela river. There is only a small risk in the Kruger Park from May to October but outbreaks sometimes occur during the warmer and wetter months from November to April (Kruger Park malaria hotline: (+27 82 234 1800).

I think better safe than sorry.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:27 pm 
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Timely malaria detection

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:31 pm 
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There was a very interesting article in the Star newspaper this past week concerning Malaria protection and detection. It seems that someone has patented a wrist band that delivers small pricks and is able to detect parasites in the blood. This means that treatment can start long before the symptoms actually set in.
The treatment is then a lot simpler and more effective as they are able to catch it before it reaches a critical point.
The band has been ordered for workers in Moz where Malaria takes a terrible toll.
If this works I think it is a great idea.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:48 pm 
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Engadget has a small article on it too. :D


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:09 am 
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Artemesin was mentioned earlier in this thread. This news story is about scientist's concern at it being used as a preventative treatment, which could lead to its reduced effectiveness as a treatment.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:23 am 
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Hi
Maybe i can help with a bit more info on Malaria:

There are Four types of Malaria you can get, in Southern Africa - the most dangerous being Falciparum Malaria. This type is quite common, especialy in KNP and Mozambique.

Not every mosquito carries Malaria in a Malaria area. But treat all the same.
The Anopheles Mosquito is the carrier, if she is infected - as the female is the one that does the damage.
The implicated fact in previous postings that you dont get a bite swelling is something i cannot scientifically verify, and not sure if true at all! They are a lot quieter, nearly silent flyers though.
Medication: The problem with most prophylactics (except Larium and Doxcycline - yet!), is the Mosquitoes build up resistance very quickly.
The one effective treatment regime we have to "cure" Malaria once you are infected, is now being given ad-hoc as Prophlaxsis in certain Asian countries to the general population and to European travellers. Already results of studies are already showing resistant strains out there!

Are the Prophylactics given any good? My personal view:Rather take something than not, if you are very worried.
For Children, the concern i have, is the effective medications are not recommended for children, or have potentially too high side effect profile... medications you would be able to give are not effective against Faciparum Malaria....
As my children are older now, we have made decision not to take medication and try to mimimise risk of getting bitten.
To date, for ten years now we have been lucky.
We keep covered as the day cools(long pants, closed shoes, long socks, and long sleeved shirts/ tops, apply repellent, and burn mosquito candles etc.
Remember to put the candles at ground level not on the table! The most common bite area is up to waiste level for an adult (standing)... and good luck...

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:44 am 
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Thanks Fizzpop, that was very informative. I did not think of burning candles at feet level.
In the past we have also relied of defensive methods and so far have been lucky. My family get so nauseous on the Doxycycline that life is miserable and they are not able to take Larium for other reasons.
We have taken the Doxycycline according to instructions, which is one hour before or two hours after meals and avoided milk which seems to impact on absorption. I think this is the reason why we have all had such severe gastric irritation. Alcohol also affects the half life of the medication.
:cry: :cry: :cry:
I am off to the park in a month. With the rains and the increase of malaria I am very reluctant to "take a chance".
I am wondering if taking it with breakfast is really going to have such an affect on absorption. I do think it might do away with the nausea and vomiting experienced in the past.
As for sun downers, not even a heavenly vision will take away those.
:wink:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:49 am 
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From the latest Laboratory Marketing Spectrum magazine

Scientists Lift Malaria's Cloak of Invisibility

The world's deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, sneaks past the human immune system with the help of a wardrobe of invisibility cloaks. If a person's immune cells learn to recognise one of the parasite's many camouflage proteins, the surviving invaders can swap disguises and slip away again to cause more damage, Researchers have determined how P.falciparum can turn on one cloaking gene and keep dozens of others silent until each is needed in turn. Their findings, published last December in Nature, reveal the mechanism of action of the genetic machinery thought to be the key to the parasite's survival.

A DNA sequence near the start of a cloaking gene, known as the gene's promoter, not only turns up production of its protein, but also keeps all other cloaking genes under wraps, according to Alan Cowman and Brendan Crabb, Howard Hughes Medical Institute international research scholars at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, and their co-authors. 'The promoter is all you need for activation and silencing," Cowman said. "It's the main site of action where everything is happening."

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:48 am 
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Hi Peterpiper

It may have been doxycycline (spelling?). This is an antibiotic but the World Health Organisation has asked doctors not to prescribe it if possible as it is literally our last known defence against the parasite. Generally speaking pathogens develop a resistance to antibiotics quite quickly. I do know that this is what is prescribed for people who cant afford psychotic episodes like special forces troops and pilots. And just to think all those people who thought they were seeing yellow elephants for the first time actually werent....


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:17 pm 
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Lariam and Mefloquine are the same, MM.

Have a look here:
http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malariadrugs.htm


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:17 pm 
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macho mouse wrote:
Malerone and Larium are one and the same. They are just the same chemicals under different trade names.

I think you are confusing Malarone with Mefloquine.
Lariam is the trade name for the anti-malarial drug mefloquine.

Malarone is the trade name for Atovaquone-Proguanil and is a different drug.

See also Travel Health

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:50 pm 
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Atovaquone/proguanil (brand name: Malarone ™)
Atovaquone/proguanil is a combination of two drugs, atovaquone plus proguanil, in one tablet. It is available in the United States as the brand name, Malarone.
Directions for Use
* The adult dosage is 1 adult tablet (250 atovaquone/100 mg proguanil) once a day.
* Take the first dose of atovaquone/proguanil 1 to 2 days before travel to the malaria-risk area.
* Take your dose once a day during travel in the malaria-risk area.
* Take your dose once a day for 7 days after leaving the malaria-risk area.
* Take your dose at the same time each day and take the pill with food or milk.
Side Effects and Warnings
The most common side effects reported by travelers taking atovaquone/proguanil are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Most people taking this drug do not have side effects serious enough to stop taking it; if you cannot tolerate atovaquone/proguanil, see your health care provider for a different antimalarial drug.


Mefloquine (brand name Lariam ™ and generic)
Directions for Use
* The adult dosage is 250 mg (one tablet) once a week.
* Take the first dose 1 week before arrival in the malaria-risk area.
* Take your dose once a week, on the same day of the week, while in the risk area.
* Take your dose once a week for 4 weeks after leaving the risk area.
* Take the drug on a full stomach with a full glass of liquid.
Side Effects and Warnings
The most common side effects reported by travelers taking mefloquine include headache, nausea, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, vivid dreams, and visual disturbances. Mefloquine has rarely been reported to cause serious side effects, such as seizures, depression, and psychosis. These serious side effects are more frequent with the higher doses used to treat malaria; fewer occurred at the weekly doses used to prevent malaria.
Mefloquine is eliminated slowly by the body and thus may stay in the body for a while even after the drug is discontinued. Therefore, side effects caused by mefloquine may persist weeks to months after the drug has been stopped.
Most travelers taking mefloquine do not have side effects serious enough to stop taking the drug. (Other antimalarial drugs are available if you cannot tolerate mefloquine; see your health care provider.)
Travelers Who Should Not Take Mefloquine
The following travelers should not take mefloquine and should ask their health care provider for a different antimalarial drug:
* persons with active depression or a recent history of depression
* persons with a history of psychosis, generalized anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, or other major psychiatric disorder
* persons with a history of seizures (does not include the type of seizure caused by high fever in childhood)
* persons allergic to mefloquine
* Mefloquine is not recommended for persons with cardiac conduction abnormalities (for example, an irregular heartbeat).


Source: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malariadrugs.htm

Hope this helps, MM.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:31 pm 
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Hi Bushiest

Sure one can always take a chance - I have done it and gotten away with it - was it clever? No. There has been so much rain that the malaria risk is greater than normal, howeveryou can phone the Kruger malaria hotline for an update. I think that staying in bungalows lessens the risk to camping, expecially if you spray and plug in matts. Malaria risk is greater where there are large concentrations of people nearby. Therefore Shingwedzi has a lower risk that Croc Bridge for example. Areas bordering on the sabi river and mozambican coastal flood plains are high risk, therefore camps such as lower sabie. Malaria requires a people-mosquito-people-mosquito cycle to perpetuate. Also remember thant not all mozzies are malaria mozzies, only the female anopholes mosquito can give you malaria if she has recently fed off an infected human host. However, if you are aged or immune suppressed (eg cancer or HIV) or have small kids I would defintely advise you not to take a chance.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:16 pm 
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Good advice Nunu, although I would add that I have always believed camping is safer as my tent can be kept totally sealed so remember to really 'Nuke' the bungalow. Spray and Mats if possible. Malaria, by the way, takes about 2 weeks to change inside the mozzie before that mozzie can pass it on. As well as the places you mentioned, I would also stay away from the Western boundary as there are too many people close by.

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 Post subject: Malaria debate
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:40 am 
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Thanks Peter Piper. Although Tambotie is on the western boundry of the park, it's buffered by all those private reserves so maybe it's also not as risky as Croc Bridge or Lower Sabie? After reading all the opinions on Malaria, I think I should book for June rather than May if I'm not to take malaria drugs.


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