Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:20 pm

This has been discussed many times, but:


I’m off to KNP in a few days and I’m a little concerned about the malaria issue. I took tablets for the first time last year March and they made me sick, so that’s it for me, but I’m worried about the rest of the family, especially the 3 rats under the age of 11.

They have all been 2 KNP 10 times, but never in March?

Should we/they take tabs or not?

What would you do?

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:20 pm

BC - I stress that this is my opinion.

I do not take malaria tablets, because ...

1. they make me feel ill - even write ups warn you against side effects
2. they drown out any symptons of malaria and then even blood tests cannot show you have malaria
3. watch myself very closely for about three weeks after my return for any signs of illness - and mention to the doctor where I've been.

Precautions I take - after sunset I use Peaceful sleep/ rub ons/ spray ons - whatever, and cover as much of my body as possible.
Keep your tent zipped at all times, so you have no mozzies in the tent.

This is for me as a grown-up - Would like to see the input regarding younger children.

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:21 pm

This is also just my opinion.

But I wouldn't take a chance. Even if there is a minute possibility of getting malaria, why risk it.

As far as I am aware, there is more than one drug available to prevent malaria, so there may be something else for you to try.

I think the best thing would be for you to consult your doctor.

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:21 pm

Thanks guys

I have consulted the doc and there are 2 issues.

Supposedly there’s no malaria medication specifically for kids, it’s just a stepped down adult dose and the big problem for me is that all malaria medication supposedly puts strain on the liver, so if you like to have a few dops while in KNP the effects are more pronounced and you feel as if you have a massive hangover all the time.

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:22 pm

BC, we (the Brat and I) have always taken Malanil and suffered no side effects at all....even with a couple of drinks.

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:22 pm

The mozzies are quite bad at the moment in the lowveld.
Obviously the trick is to not get bitten, easier said than done. BC, check with your Doc, there are many types of medication and not all have the side affects you are concerned about.
I don't think anything will affect your liver, it's too far gone but the LO's livers are good and strong and will be just fine. Besides, it is only if you take these things over a long period of time that it becomes an issue. It is not recommended to take them for longer than 3 months at a stretch.

Malaria is a parasite and a blood test will always reveal the little buggers whether you are on 'the pill' or not. It does lesson the symptoms some times, but not to the extent of making you feel great. A lot is common sense, use the sprays & creams in the evenings and mornings, cover up and if you have flu like symptoms (not a snot nose), but the headaches and aches in the hips and shoulders within 10 days or so after being in an area, get a blood test.
Having said all that, a child with malaria is not a pretty thing.

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:23 pm

The one prophylactic that is highly effective is Larium, but unfortunately the side effects can be fatal.It causes extreme depression in some people and is on record as being the cause of some suicides. Unless your doc is comfortable with prescribing it, stay away from it with kids.
I'm certainly no expert on medications and just take what SO gives me, but I have spent a lot of time in high danger areas in the past and have learned a little bit about the illness.
As said before it is a parasite that attacks internal organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas and the brain. those horrible little gogas actually start eating away at these organs. There is an old wives tale that talks about reoccurring bouts which is hogwash. Once you have got rid of the parasites, they are gone for good. Sure you can get infected again, but it has nothing to do with a previous bout. I have had malaria 5 times in my life, first time I was about 6 in Kenya and then 4 times within 18 months in about 2000/2001 living on our farm in northern Moz. SO and LO also had it up there as well, got very scary.

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:23 pm

iNdlovu, I still want to sleep tonight

I’m paranoid as it is and now this. The Cow is up in arms as we leave on Saturday

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:24 pm

I didn't mean to paint such a bad picture or scare anyone. As long as you get treatment soon after contracting the illness, it is not a problem. The only reason why it was scary up there was because we had no medication to fight the illness nor any medical facilities or doctors to go to, so it wasn't treated in time. My last bout ended in cerebral malaria (hence my madness) but also for the reason that it wasn't treated in time.
Relax and enjoy, you probably wont even encounter one of the baddy mozies anyway.

Re: Malaria Issues

Fri May 25, 2012 12:25 pm

BC, look at it this way...

It is safer in a malaria area than driving to one.