The Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park are the only two South African National Parks that are situated within a malaria risk areas. Both these areas are of low risk, but if you want to rest assure, rather take the necessary precautions to avoid getting malaria in the Kruger National Park while on your safari holiday.
We are not doctors but we do know this – “prevention is better than cure”
It is important to speak to your doctor about malaria prevention before travelling to a malaria area.
Did you know? Only the infected females Anopheles mosquitos are the carrier of the deadly malaria virus (Plasmodium parasite). Mosquitos are usually most active during early mornings and late afternoons however; they can bite at any time during the day, depending on the weather.
There are 3 golden rules when it comes to malaria prevention:
Malaria Prevention Rule 1 (Avoid getting bitten): It is important to use the necessary precaution to avoid being bitten. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers during the early mornings and late afternoons. You can also make use of mosquito sprays, plug in deterrent, anti-mosquito bracelets and citronella creams. It is also advised to make use of a mosquito net when sleeping. Lastly you can burn mosquito coils and citronella candles, both of these products helps to repel mosquitos. Please don’t leave burning coils and candles unattended.
Malaria Prevention Rule 2 (Take anti-malaria tablets): First of all,speak to your doctor about malaria prevention tablets when travelling to a malaria area. Some malaria tablets are not 100% effective and some malaria tablets can cause side effects. There are information about Kruger National Park and Malaria effected areas online that can be useful.
Malaria Prevention Rule 3 (Get immediate treatment if it seems like you present symptoms of malaria): If you do suspect that you have malaria, please get tested immediately. Malaria is a life-threatening disease that can cause serious damage to internal organs and as a result can lead to death when not treated.
How do doctors test for malaria?
Doctors normally draw blood for testing. The blood is used to perform a blood smear. A blood smear is done by placing a drop of blood onto a glass slide. Finally the blood slide get treated with a special stain and will be examined under a microscope to see if the blood is infested with the Plasmodium parasite.
How do I contract malaria?
When bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito, the deadly Plasmodium parasites are released into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the parasites travel via the bloodstream into the liver. They will stay inside the liver until they are matured. Once matured, the parasites re-enters the bloodstream and starts to infect your body’s red blood cells. The parasites will now start multiplying inside the red blood cells for the next 48 to 72 hours. This extreme pressure in the cells, due to multiplying, causes the cells to burst open. These effects are extremely life-threatening. The parasites will continue to infect the red blood cells, leading to symptoms that occur in cycles that can last two to three days at a time. If you need more information about Kruger National Park and red zone Malaria areas, you can click here.
What are the signs and symptoms of a person with malaria?
Malaria can manifest within 10 days to four weeks of being exposed to the deadly Plasmodium parasite. Some malaria cases have only been discovered after several weeks or even months after visiting a malaria affected area.There are information about Kruger National Park and Malaria online that can be useful.
The most common signs and symptoms of a person with malaria: