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Malaria

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Re: Have you or anyone you know contracted malaria in KNP?

Unread post by saraf » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:57 pm

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Re: Have you or anyone you know contracted malaria in KNP?

Unread post by matthew » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:45 am

Just my two cents worth... :-)

I contracted malaria camping at Balule in 1997 whilst travelling with friends. I did take prophylactics as prescribed by our family doctor. I wouldn't say that the warning signs for my case would be the same for everyone - but this was my experience.

About a week and half later, when I was supposed to be studying for exams I began experiencing flu-like symptoms that seemed to get worse as the day went on, but by morning I would feel ok-ish again. (Tough to convince your mom that you are sick and can't study when you wake up looking ok...) The back, shoulder and muscle ache along with the fever chills were pretty bad.

A couple of nights after that - I had an intense fever and passed out in the passage. I was taken by ambulance to Sandton Clinic (JHB) and spent a week in the ICU and a further week in another ward. I was diagnosed with cerebral malaria, and the few memories I have of the incident include the multitude of drips and other pipes attached to my body, not being able to keep any food down, drifting in and out of consciousness (always waking up with some new visitor reading my magazines!) The only positive of the experience was that I missed all of my exams :-D

I still visit KNP as often as I can (sadly not as often as I would like) - and while I don't take prophylactics anymore (please note - not taking prophylactics is my choice - and not to be taken as any sort of advice), I make sure that i cover up, use repellents and most importantly of all - if i feel ANY sort of flu like symptoms - i make sure to have a malaria blood test - that bit IS advice. :-) Malaria is definitely not something you'd wish on anyone - and it is serious business.
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Re: Have you or anyone you know contracted malaria in KNP?

Unread post by bushguy » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:49 pm

Glad you pulled through Matthew!

Just to expand - Cerebral malaria is the same organism as "normal" malaria, but shows its effect on the brain, including bleeding. That is what makes it so dangerous. Everybody has different reactions , or at least different organs that are affected. so while some have severe kidney issues (black water fever) others don't. One form can change to another very easily.

Also note the waxing/waning of the symptoms - the malaria organism is a very clever little thing in that it changes its "cover" regularly. So your body makes antibodies to the organism's protein cover A , and starts winning the fight (you feel feverish, have signs) , the number of organisms decreases (you feel better) BUT then it changes to surface protein B and your immune system doesn't recognise it and doesn't kill it. and so the process starts again with your immune cells making antibody to protein B and fighting the organism .......... and then C .....

Why the long story? IF YOU HAVE FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS WITHIN 2-3 WEEKS OF BEING IN A MALARIA AREA , HAVE YOURSELF PROPERLY TESTED!
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Re: Have you or anyone you know contracted malaria in KNP?

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:35 pm

Will be merging into the Malaria Topic shortly.
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Re: Have you or anyone you know contracted malaria in KNP?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:13 am

Gosh Matthew, what a horrible experience. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: I am pleased that you pulled through.

I am very interested in your choice not to take Malaria prophylactics. Is there a special reason?
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Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito

Unread post by Kooning » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:33 pm

Thanks for sharing the info Hemant.

The product you described sounded familiar to me so I dug around a bit and found the following on Wikipedia:
The chemical structure of pyrethrins inspired the production of a variety of synthetic insecticides called pyrethroids such as bifenthrin, permethrin, and cypermethrin.


I often use a similar product that can be sprayed onto your clothes before I go into the veld. On the can it says that it contains "Flumethrin (pyrethroid)".

I agree with you that it is excellent at controlling ticks, especially when you do a lot of walking "off-road" in the veld. I must admit I haven't tried it as a general insect repellent.

For those wondering I was able to buy some at the "Koöperasie" in Durbanville (Cape Town). So there are similar products available in South Africa, seems like you just have to know what to look for. (I blame the confusing names on too many chemists trying to get their Phd's... :wink: )

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Re: Malaria

Unread post by onewithnature » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:37 am

Matthew, so glad you pulled through unharmed from cerebral malaria; many people don't survive that. I'd be interested in knowing what prophylactics you used then, as the middle Nineties was around the time that chloroquine and proguanil was abandoned in favour of less-resistant drugs. Assuming that you used competent antimalarial prophylaxis for the time, you were genuinely unlucky that you contracted the disease, and that the disease deteriorated into the cerebral version so quickly.

I'm not quite sure why, after such a horrible experience, Matthew, that you do not take antimalarial medications anymore. I would think that, especially in your case, you would want to have as much blanket protection as possible; so antimalarial medicines + non-drug measures + even considering low-risk season, and so on. Know that the correct antimalarial medicines taken at the correct doses and times do not mask the disease, as is often thought by many people, but actually slows the progression of the disease so that there is more time to treat malaria once it is diagnosed.

Thank you for sharing your story, Matthew - more people may sit up and take notice when hearing of real situations where people contract malaria. I still hear of supposedly highly intelligent people giving poor advice regarding malaria prevention and/or treatment. Everything from drinking gin and tonic to using absolutely no preventative measures in a high-risk area. The best is always to get accurate and competent information before making malaria-related decisions.
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Re: Malaria

Unread post by Koen » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:38 am

I will have to assume DDT is beng used in the park and in tourist accomadation?

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Re: Malaria

Unread post by onewithnature » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:55 am

Koen, it would be nice to hear directly from SANParks regarding this; however, as South Africa in recent times is making huge progress against malaria using DDT - and recent statistics suggest a massive drop in affected people, as well as malaria-related deaths amongst those who contract the disease (phenomenally, SA is hoping to eradicate the disease entirely by 2018) - I'm pretty sure that this chemical is being used as part of antimalarial strategies. Of course, DDT will always be a controversial substance as it has been linked to congenital malformations, cancers, and infertility. Here is a link to read more ... http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/hea ... 42652.html
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Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:49 pm

Just spent 5 days in the bush.....and took a mix used at Sand River Bush Camp by several folk. Simply small bottle of Dettol, in approx 1L spray bottle and add some drops of Citronella oil. It works well! First evening a couple of us used it and by the second evening most used it! One of the guides used it for spraying his legs before the walk.....and actually saw a tick racing off his boot! Others then used it too, and we had far less problems than usual. Simple, cheap, easily available, and effective.
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Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito

Unread post by Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:55 pm

Thanks for this very handy tip EJ :great:
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Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito

Unread post by tent dweller » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:40 am

EJ, can this be used to prevent mosquito bites as well? We normally spray ourselves with Tabbard and burn Tabbard candles etc, do you think we could add this remedy to our usual routine? :hmz: :hmz:
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Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:38 am

That is what I initially took it for (mozzy protection) and it was one of the guides who decided to try it for ticks too. It is the first time I have tried the mixture myself.

Last night back home I decided to spray some around the entrance to the caravan tent and the screen door, and had almost no insect visitors come in at all......Usually despite the screen door quite a few find their way in. Going to see if it deters ants also......
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Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito

Unread post by Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:51 am

EJ.. Just a question do you dilute the dettol at all?
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Re: Many thanks to all-effective product for tick-mosquito

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:31 am

Put a small bottle (100ml) of dettol into a spray bottle that holds about 1L water.
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