Malaria is a serious tropical diseases in Africa. On some safaris you will be travelling through malaria endemic areas, so we have provided you with the following information to raise your awareness before you leave your home.
What can I do to prevent malaria while I’m traveling?
Malaria is a potentially fatal parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of infected female mosquitoes. You can reduce your risk of malaria by using mosquito repellent, wearing protective clothing such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and taking certain prescription medicines.
Recommended mosquito repellents contain at least 20-35 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) such as Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent. We also recommend spraying your clothing, bedding and a mosquito net with mosquito repellent. The choice of antimalaria medicine depends on the time that you travel and your destination. Talk to your doctor about the necessary protective measures.
The malaria pathogen is not a bacterium or a virus but a unicellular parasite of which there are four different species. The two most common in southern Africa are Plasmodium Falciparum (accounting for 90 – 95% of cases) and Plasmodium Vivax.
Plasmodium Falciparum is the most aggressive species, often killing through coma or anemia. Plasmodium Vivax can cause a recurring and debilitating infection, but rarely kills. Malaria is a cyclic disease. The first symptom is fever followed by chills after several hours. Two to four days later, the fever returns, again followed by chills and more fever. Serious cases of malaria affect the brain, liver and kidneys, producing long-term anemic effects. Progression of symptoms from initial fever to death can take as little as 24 hours.
Links to other sites:
World Health Organization
Malaria Foundation International
International Travel and Health