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Malaria pills???

Raleigh
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Malaria pills???

Hi,

I will be taking a 2-day safari in Kruger National park and Sabi Sands reserve in early February. While my friend and I have purchased lightweight long pants and shirts and insect repellent, we are wondering should we also take anti-malaria pills? I have read the info from the CDC and there seems to be no concrete advice regarding what we should do. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Kruger National...
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1. Re: Malaria pills???

Hi there,

First of all, it should be remembered that any opinions on here are purely our own - We (or at least not me, hehe) are not qualified doctors, so speaking to your GP would be the best thing to do.

Now, I live in the Kruger area and do not take malaria pills. I do just as you have said; wear long, light weight clothing or wear a lot of bug spray. We use citronella candles and mozzie nets for added protection. For me, the side effects and prolonged exposure to pills just isn't worth it.

The biggest risk of malaria is in the months of October/November, and the further towards Mozambique, the higher the risk gets (but it is always classified as a low risk area).

It really is a personal choice.

Warm regards

Jacqui l Owner l Lodge Trackers Safari Specialists l South Africa

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Malaria pills???

Suggest you read the link below and speak with your doctor.

www.malaria.org.za/2010/Advice2010.html

Port Elizabeth
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for South Africa
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3. Re: Malaria pills???

While suggesting on speaking with your doctor is probably fair advice, the doctor is always going to give your tablets. In fact, I know someone from England who was given malaria tablets by a doctor to come to Port Elizabeth - 1500kms from a malaria area!

To me, taking malaria medication is a personal choice. Get informed and make a decision.

Malaria mozzies don't make a noise. They breed in fresh water, so only really a problem after rains. They fly low. Bites are generally below the knee. They are generally around at sunset and sunrise. They have to have bitten someone with malaria before biting you to pass in on to you. There are about 2000 malaria cases a year in Mpumalanga province, resulting in about 8 deaths. Malaria mozzies can only fly about a km, so the further away you are from people living in the area and the fewer people there are, the lower the risk.

Do I take malaria medication? Yes, but only in summer. For 2 reasons 1) I cannot put on long pants and thick socks (or even thin socks) in summer in the late afternoon heat (when it can still be well over 30 degrees) in preparation for sunset. Besides, I am still probably doing a game drive and only get back to camp just on sunset. I prefer, in summer, to keep on wearing shorts and sandals 2) I usually go to Limpopo province, where malaria is far more prevalent.

Along with Steveb's link above, there is quite a lot of info here - www.malariajournal.com/content/11/1/423

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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4. Re: Malaria pills???

Your planning - so far - is just right.. The repellent should include DEET, and 30% is a common strength of it. I used a 50% DEET once and it killed the skin on my ankles.. I looked like a 2-legged elephant for a few weeks.

But Malarone is a good 'extra' source of protection, so I say - take it. For a 2-day visit, you don't need many tablets.

Dave Patterson - Owner - TheAfricaSafari

Lansdale
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5. Re: Malaria pills???

My husband & I will be staying at the Jackalberry Lodge 3/19 to 3/22 this year, after 3 days in Cape Town. We're on the fence about taking Malarone so I'm curious about your post saying 'that you don't need many tablets for a 2 day stay'. I realize that you're not offering medical advice but I've read many of your posts on Tripadvisor & respect your opinion.

Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: Malaria pills???

Would the mozzies be active during the cool sunrise & sunset temperatures of September?

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Malaria pills???

"you don't need many tablets for a 2 day stay”

That's just a relative statement, meaning you'd need more for a longer stay. You always need 2 Malarone pills for the 2 days before getting to the malaria area, a pill for each day in the malaria area and 7 pills for the 7 days after leaving the malaria area.

Berkhamsted, United...
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8. Re: Malaria pills???

CTM, we certainly saw mozzies at sunset in late August last year in Sabi Sands and were warned about them on our arrival at our lodge.

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Malaria pills???

Thanks Sandsy40.

Does anyone know if mozzies are usually active during the cool Sept sunrise timeframe?

Dublin, California
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10. Re: Malaria pills???

We'll be in South Africa in a month's time. My doctor (actually the travel clinic at my health care organization) prescribed malaria pills for me, based on my past medical history. In other words, there is no one advice that's good for everyone. The advice to talk to your own doctor is on point because no one knows what your medical history is. Only your doctor knows.