Thursday, February 22, 2007

Malaria

For the adventurer at heart, there are few things more exciting than an impending expedition. All plans are made, arrangements finalized. Many nights are spent falling asleep to dreams of blue water and big fish.

I was lucky enough to be invited on a Mozambique fishing trip and about now (as you read this…I should be diving the blue clean waters of the Mozambique Channel. I’ll fill you in on the details when I return.

One thing that must be taken into consideration when you travel to these areas is Malaria. There seem to be so many opinions on the issue though. In a search for answers I went onto the Salty-Diver web site and posted a forum. This resulted in some interesting discussion on the topic. I have posted some of the information.

Question.
I'm off to Mozambique. What is the way to approach the whole malaria issue?
What medicines, if any should I use?
Do the homeopathic medicines work?
What preventative measure should/can be taken?


paddyoRock Robber


Re:malaria chaos theory - 2007/02/16 09:03
Homeopathic remedies definitely do no reliably work The chances are that you won't get malaria & this is where some people get the impression of different things working(my brother didn't listen to this advise , took homeopathic medicine & came back with malaria)Doxycycline is the drug I prefer it is very well tolerated and inexpensive. It can occasionally cause a sun sensitivity reaction but this is relatively rare. It is taken once a day starting the day before you enter the malaria area & continued for 4 weeks after leaving area.Malanil is another alternative also very well tolerated (no sun reaction) but is a lot more expensive. It is taken as above but only for 1 week after leaving area.The third alternative is mefliam/lariam. This has a number of medical contraindications and can cause some dizziness & disorientation in some people which is not good if you’re diving or driving. It can also cause disturbed sleep (unfortunately dreams not usually about beautiful woman or clean seas just disturbed sleep)Some people advocate not taking drugs but just to treat the malaria if you get it. They say that the drugs mast the symptoms but this is an inaccuracy. The drugs if properly taken are 90-95% effective but if there is treatment failure it is never absolute , you get some suppression so that you get the disease much more mildly hence the mistake that symptoms are masked. Remember in extreme cases you can be dead within 48 hours of first showing symptoms (rare but possible) You take your choice I personally use doxycycline

paddyoRock Robber


Re:malaria chaos theory - 2007/02/16 09:22
Sorry forgot to say don't for get the mosquito repellents. They must be DEET containing producte (tabard , peacefulsleep or mylol)The anophyles mosquito that carries malaria comes out at night so dusk to dawn are your danger times with the vast majority of bites between 10pm and 4am.This mosquito also does not make the typical buzzing noise when flying or generally leave itchy mosquito bites so people often assume they are not there (this is not to say you won't get other species of mosquito there as well and so see all the normal things you see with them in KZN)

I later found out that “Paddo” is a pharmacist, and should be qualified to talk on the matter.

Chris Coasts, the chairman of the Salt Rock Spearfishing Club” said this :
“ You don’t want to get malaria. You feel sick for a few days, then you feel like you are dying for a few days. Then you spend a few days wishing you were dead. Then you loose about 20kgs”

It really sounds like you don’t want to get Malaria (besides the loosing 20 kg part).
What we can tell from all this is that some measures must be taken. If you travel to malaria areas, always prepare for the dreaded mozzies. If you are not sure visit you local Doctor for more professional advice. Regardless of what action you choose to take, take action.

Wayno