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Malaria

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Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:45 am Unread post
How will you protect yourself as well as your family against malaria this summer in the Kruger Park?


Last edited by wildtuinman on Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:05 pm Unread post
My son was also hit by P.Falciparum a few years ago. He was 11 years old at the time and we were very worried ! We did take profilactic drugs, but gave him childrens dosage which perhaps wasn't enough for this rather well built 11 year old ?
He wasn't too sick though - it was diagnosed very early. We were in Sirheni - quite a "wild" place compared to bigger camps, though I don't think the mozzies would know the difference !!



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Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:33 am Unread post
Hi all.....

I have been an avid kruger visitor since I was a little girl and I am now taking my two year old on her very first visit. We are going to Shingwedzi for a weekend in March. I phoned the malaria hotline and they recommended Chlorquin Syrup. Has anybody taken this syrup and does it work? Are there any side effects? Or would it be wise to rather just use preventative measures so she won't get bitten?



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Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:41 am Unread post
Laine, I would suggest that you rather use preventative measures. I personally don't like the idea of giving such a young child prophylactics. You only really need to protect yourself early in the morning and in the evening. We bought special mosquito repellant soap (lemongrass and something else - will ask my SO if he remembers) which we used when we showered and you can also buy some Tabard lotion. If you'd prefer to take absolutely no chances then perhaps you should phone your GP and ask about the side effects :)



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Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:52 am Unread post
It is very risky to take a child of that age. They are very busy and enjoy running around etc. I have decided that I will only take my little one with again as soon as she will be able to tell me exactly what the matter is when she is not feeling well.

After my wife's malaria ordeal we took the little one for a blood test almost always when she was feverish and having a bit of bronchitis etc. which were all symptoms of malaria with babies and which coincidently are normal for babies who are teething or allergic.

It was hell! To try not to cry when your baby had a needle stuck in her arm to draw blood was very tough. To be honest: I would not take that chance. We used all the preventitive measures we could: Netting, repellant, coils and long sleeves at night and my wife still got bitten and infected.

We reckon it happened when she was in the bathroom after a shower. Think twice...



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Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:00 am Unread post
As mentioned prophylaxis (Anti-malaria tablets) is not the end-all-and-be-all. Preventative measures in it self may also not be effective in protecting the little one.

It might also be good to contact a SAA Netcare Travel clinic for advice. They are serviced and advised by doctors who are members of the SA Society of Travel Medicine. I attended a joint conference with the SASTM in 2003 where they talked about their research on malaria, suggested treatments, resistance of the parasite to treatment etc. and they are quite clued up. The link below list a number of Travel clinics.

Travel Clinic



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Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:25 am Unread post
DinkyBird wrote
Any stats on how many visitors to the park do actually contract malaria?
Is it more prolific in some areas than others?
With the side effects of prophylaxis one is tempted to give them a miss!


Hi DinkyBird

Malaria is indeed a problem in the KNP and we take regular measures (spraying units, education campaigns, mosquito screens etc) to try and protect people from this.
According to our GP here in Skukuza, Dr Ferreira, relatively few people have been infected this wet season. Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to get statistics of tourists getting malaria in the KNP as most only go to the doctor once they have left the KNP.
Most of the cases have been our staff members who work outside (eg hut attendants, rangers, security staff etc) at night.

My advice - and the KNP policy for that matter - is to visit your GP and take all the precautions he/she advises. You can also visit the travel medicine website http://www.meditravel.co.za.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman



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Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:38 pm Unread post
dvanzyl100 wrote
bwana wrote
I wouldn't take the chance, especially after what Tabs said.I'm going to take the most expensive, best one with the least side effects, I dont want to freak out on my honeymoon :shock: :shock:


All malaria medication has the same effect as antibiotics. It cancels the effects of birth control (apprantely only the pill form, but I would not take the chance). So be carefull.

Also if you fall pregnant whilst on malaria medication, they will have to terminate the pregnancy, because the malaria medication causes defects on the unborn child.

Third, you can't fall pregnant for three months after taking malaria mediaction for the same reasons above.

Thus in summary, Bruce took the medication, because he has previously had malaria and apparenly is more suseptable to getting it.

I opted for not taking any and took all other preventative measures.

Some food for thought


One always wonders which version is the correct one to believe. All doctors seem to have their own ideas with regards to certain things, some will agree and others will differ. I guess one should just make up their own mind after talking to a couple of people. My travel clinic on the other hand, told me that the pill would NOT be cancelled so long as I did not take my pill and the malaria medication at the SAME time. They suggested I take my pill in the morning and the malaria medication in the evening or vice versa but they said if I take the malaria pill in the morning it might make me nauseous. The lady seemed very well-informed and had a very long discussion with me regarding the malaria prophylaxis. I have decided that I don't think it is necessary to take medication when we go in June as it is the dry season and I don't want to take medication unneccesarily. I mean, when we were there in October neither one of us got one bite! I'll just use preventative measures. Unless I'm being naive?


Re: Preventing malaria the natural way - Artemisia Afra

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Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:29 pm Unread post
rooibok wrote
Has anyone ever used Artemisia products which is a natural way of preventing or treating malaria?

Artemisia afra is a highly aromatic indigenous shrub that has been used for centuries by the African/Chinese population for a variety of ailments in particular malaria.

I have browsed the web but did not find anything negative about this treatment.


I've not heard of that particular product, it does sound interesting though. There are some products on sale around the park, and in shops in neighbouring towns which also offer a natural repellent. I think one of the main ingredients of all of them is citronella. Some can even be added to clothes washes so that your clothes also repel mozzies. As the risk of contracting malaria is higher when pregnant I used some of these in December and found them pretty effective, combined with tucking my tracksuit pants into my socks in the evenings/mornings. I only got two bites in 3 weeks spent in the Lowveld, including time in Kruger and Pidwa (part of Makalali), so would definitely recommend giving them a try!



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Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:41 pm Unread post
The product is actually consumed in capsule form or available as an injection. If you do a search in Google it shows quite a few websites with info on Artemisia.



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Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:25 pm Unread post
Be careful of so called "natural" products - nicotene is "natural" but very harmful, and there are many other examples like this. As for me - I'd rather use something that has been scientifically tested over a long period and which has demonstrable efficacy - especially when it comes to malaria prevention !



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Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:07 pm Unread post
What are your opinions on taking the tabs after April (the wet season). We are going in May (2nd week) and I really would like to give them a miss, but for some reason mozzies love to chomp me...so am I taking a risk?



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Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:44 pm Unread post
A little progress was made fighting this disease:
BBC News Site wrote
Scientists have worked out how the deadliest malaria parasite is able to "hide" from the body's immune system.
The US-led international team said Plasmodium falciparum constantly changes the appearance of a protein it deposits on infected cells.
This meant the human immune system did not have enough time to begin making antibodies against the protein before the parasite changed its appearance.
The discovery could lead to new avenues for drug research, the team told Cell.

The whole article.



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Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:44 am Unread post
I saw a little guy (8yrs or so) in the hospital yesterday with faciparum. It broke my heart. His parents were very concerned. Our dr. also told us a bit later that he had another young kid in another hospital with a serious bout of falciparum.

Falciparum is extremely dangerous!! If contracted in the brain, u r as good as a gonner. Very few people come out from that coma.

I plead to you to think twice before putting your young kids through an ordeal like that. As with my wife that little guy felt great for a couple of hours and as the parasites attack again felt absolutely miserable the next few hours. The quinine makes you extremely nausious and it is heartbreaking to try and help your kid to keep the medicine in.

A month after this ordeal you'll be left with a "swissshhhh" and no not the sound to try and call a gorgeous bush shrike, in your ears making you as good as deaf.

If you visit a malaria area once a year, take medicine. Contact your dr. He/She knows best. Don't risk it. I have seen many kids in hospital with malaria and I promise you that it is not that uncommon.


Re: Malaria

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Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:23 pm Unread post
springbok76 wrote
Hello,

Im wondering if i should take malaria tablets on my visit to the park in 2 weeks time. when i was there last it was summer and i never took any. so wondering now that its "winter" if it is necessary. can anyone advise?


Hi Springbok,

You actually need them more in summer than winter. However, it doesn't hurt to err on the side of caution and take something. Rather that than catch it!
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