Malaria in South Africa

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Jan 18th, 2011, 07:20 PM
  #1
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Malaria in South Africa

We are going to South Africa in July with our three children, one as young as 6. We plan to do a safari and would like to go to Kruger National Park. From the cdc, I understand that there is a "low" risk of malaria in this region. In low risk areas, the cdc indicates that taking malaria preventive medication is optional. Have you all taken malaria medication when traveling to Kruger? I am obviously concerned about the risk of getting malaria but also about the safety of the medication for my youngest child.

I know that there are safaris in nonmalaria regions but really would like to go to Kruger if it makes medical sense.

Thanks.
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Jan 19th, 2011, 04:44 AM
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http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destin...th_africa.html

Correct CDC info here preventives are recommended for Kruger.

Might be best for me to check with my pediatrician or

www.istm.org professional for correct professional advice

www.malarone.com has a pediatric formulation that is

widely used by pediatric health professionals.

Happy Journey,
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Jan 19th, 2011, 07:34 AM
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Kruger maybe low-risk and in July it's relatively dry, with less likelihood of mossies, however, I wouldn't chance it by not taking any preventative. As well as covering up with long pants/sleeves/socks and using repellent on exposed skin between dusk/dawn. Would be a shame to bring home something you hadn't planned on!

As above, there is a pediatric dose of Malarone (one of the 3 recommended meds, Lariam being the other or doxycycline[doxy]) for children weighing under (I believe it's) 40/lbs.

But always best to discuss with your doc and children's pediatrian/s. Don't be surprised though that these docs don't know much (rather go by what's written in manual), so consider a tropical diseases specialist or Travel Clinic, that's based on your personal health histories. Then you can make an informed decision.
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Jan 19th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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I second Sandi's comments that your doctor may not know much about malaria or about South Africa. My husband and I always do take Malarone when we go to Kruger, but we've had to educate the people at the travel clinic where our family doctor sends us. If you can go to your doc with information that you've gathered from reliable sources, it might help him/her and you make the decisions.

Kruger is a low-risk area, especially in July, and in fact the number of malaria cases actually contracted is quite small. There is some information about this on the sanparks web site. (Or at least there used to be. They've redesigned that web site and I'm still having trouble finding things under the new design.)

Kruger is really a wonderful place, and every time we've been there there have been lots of kids. I don't know whether they're taking meds or just keeping covered up and sprayed; but they sure are having fun.

Celia
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Jan 19th, 2011, 04:50 PM
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thanks!!
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Jan 20th, 2011, 03:38 AM
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Would your children or you really notice the difference between Kruger and a non-malarial park?
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Jan 20th, 2011, 07:18 AM
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We have recently travelled to Southern Mozambique with kids and to big game country in Kwazulu Natal, both low risk areas for malaria and we never took meds, we just sprayed ourselves with mozzie spray and we were fine. These areas are very low risk, and the people living in these areas swear by bathing in dettol or dettol soap (if you can get hold of some it is worth a try). There are fors and against on all these forums, with regard to meds, it is a decision that is entirely yours, personally I think that you will be fine without, especially in July when it is winter and not much rain, if any.
www.kimssouthafrica.blogspot.com
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Jan 20th, 2011, 05:51 PM
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mcwomble, we are planning on going to two safari camps-- one is in a non malaria region. Yes, we definitely want to go to Kruger. It will probably be our (my husband and I) only trip to South Africa inour lives... we don't want to miss out on this opportunity.
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Jan 21st, 2011, 07:53 AM
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jeanned, the Kruger region is great and I have no doubt you'll love it. I can't add more than what the others have said (it's a personal decision as what risk you're willing to accept; personally I always take Malarone), other than to suggest you avoid Lariam. Lariam can have some very undesirable psychiatric side-effects.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 01:40 PM
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I was in Kruger/Sabi Sands area in August 2007 with my 12 years old son. We both started the Malarone (better over Lariam) prevention but once we arrived there the season and weather were so dry and cold at night that after 2 days I decided to stop taking tabs for both of us. We even never saw one single mosquito in our entire 10 days trip ! However I do not want to encourage others to do the same ! That was just my own decision and experience ! Talk with your doctor, probably start taking the tabs and then you decide once there whether or not to continue. Bring anyway your anti-mosquito spray or oil, long pants etc..
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Jan 24th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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An alternative to Addo Park for a non malarial park would be Nambiti Plains in the Drakensberg Mountain area.
http://www.nambitiplains.com/index.php
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Jan 25th, 2011, 05:22 AM
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I lived in SA my whole live and visits the Kruger during the June/July holidays each year. All you need to do is put some mosi-repellent (i.e. peaceful sleep the spray or stick) on and if you want to go extreme light a citronella candle that you can buy in any SA shop. During the winter months (the time you are planning on going) the mosi rate is very low because it is to dry for them to breed. You have a higher mosi population in the rainy season. Due to the fact that it will be winter you will most probably wear some long sleeved shirt and pant thus reducing you risk of being bitten in the first place. But is up to you to make the decision. Better safe than sorry I always say! Enjoy the Kruger!! It is amazing that time of the year!!
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