Malaria on safari
Malaria prevention is a choice that you must make.
Southern Africa do have areas that are reported to have a risk of Malaria.
What is interesting about this fact is that these fall into the most visited parts of Southern Africa ie the Kruger National park,and parts of Botswana.
PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL DOCTOR AS TO CURRENT SUGGESTIONS.
However also keep a balanced perspective on Malaria.
The malaria mosquito is only carried by the female Anopheles mosquito.However not every female Anopheles mosquito carries the pathogen.The male interestingly enough is a vegetarian..fancy that,a veggie mosquito.
Then they only become active after major downpours of rain, and then they generally only fly a few feet of the ground, in most cases Malaria within South Africa’s borders is only prevalent in a few areas.
It is encountered mainly in northern and eastern Mpumalanga,northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, nd the border areas of the Northern and North West Provinces.
Malaria is also common in the lower lying areas of Swaziland.
It can also be found throughout Mozambique,Zimbabwe, and much of Botswana.
Northern Namibia is also a malarious area.
Should you be visiting these areas malaria precautions are advised.
Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months of November through to April.
From May through to October the risks of acquiring malaria are greatly reduced.
The malaria parasite requires a human host in order to complete its life cycle.
In most cases safari camps are situated in remote underpopulated areas, o the chances of contracting malaria are very slim.
Nonetheless, it is worth taking preventative measures.
Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria are prevalent in Africa. Malaria is transmitted by a very small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes.
They are only active in the early evening and throughout the night usually at the times when one is usually sleeping or sitting around the campfire.
MALARIA prophylactic recommendations for southern African travelers:
Expert opinion differs regarding the best approach to malaria prophylaxis. It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been reported. Please remember that the best insurance is the preventative kind: avoid being bitten by using mosquito repellents liberally.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings.
If staying in a bungalow or tent, spray with an insecticide like DOOM to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown into your room.Mosquito coils are effective.
If you become ill on your return, while still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped taking them, ensure that your doctor does everything to establish that your illness is not malaria.
Malaria is not a serious problem if you are sensible and take basic precautions.
So keep this mind when thinking of whether you should take Malaria precautions or not.
For you to contract Malaria technically in most cases you have to be in a area where there will be heavy rain and then be in a area where the female mosquito that does have the pathogen become active and you have to be in the right place at the right time to get bit.
In order for you to make a informed choice my suggestion is that you review the Federal Govermant web site for the Center for Disease Control, the CDC.
From this site,your own other readings and your trip layout, you choose if you need to take Malaria tablets.
Helpful hints while you on Safari:
1) Wear long sleeve shirts and pants at sunrise and sunset including socks.
Since this may be uncomfortable due to the hot sun dress in layers for your drive/walking Safaris.
Depending on when you travel the night can be cool so this is not so much of a problem.
Layer of clothing for morning game drive, which takes you into the morning sun, is recommended.
2) Apply mosquito repellent which is available in most Safari lodge bedrooms.
3) Utilize the mosquito netting and mosquito coils in your room which is available in most lodges or at the front deck upon request..
4) If you choose to take malaria tablets,take them until they are all complete.
Some other tips….wear a hat in the hot African Sun,take suntan lotion and use it,avoid over eating in the hot sun, and drink lots of water.
Some more tips from the official South Africa Tourism site(subject to change)
Malaria in South Africa
South Africa has excellent medical facilities. Medical treatment must be paid for, so travel insurance is a wise investment. Tap water is safe to drink throughout South Africa (and swimming is safe along the entire coastline, except in areas that are clearly designated high risk for shark attacks) The bilharzia parasite may be present in rivers and lakes in the eastern and northern regions; warning signs are usually posted.
No vaccinations are required of visitors from the United States or Canada,AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT ENTER SOUTH AFRICA FROM A YELLOW FEVER COUNTY.PLEASE ASK ME.
Before visiting game reserves and parks in the northern parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, take malaria prophylactics, available without prescription at South African drugstores.
More information available from the CDC web site .
A company called Natures Force has created a homeopathic anti malaria remedy..called Chiimum Comp.
Consult your doctor before leaving.
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