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okavango delta- high risk area for malaria and dengue fever?

Singapore
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okavango delta- high risk area for malaria and dengue fever?

we are planning to travel to Botsawana around May 2008 and we are concerned on the health risks for malaria or dengue fever in this area. Does anyone have any advice on weather, precautions, or if it is a good time to go to Botswana on May?

London, United...
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1. Re: okavango delta- high risk area for malaria and dengue fever?

Hello,

While there is certainly a risk of catching an insect-borne disease, this can be minimised by taking precautions to avoid being bitten, such as wearing insect repellent and covering up during prime biting times (such as dusk). You can also take malaria prophylaxis (medication). There is no prophylaxis for dengue fever but it is less common than malaria.

May is a transitional month between the wet and dry seasons -- things are starting to dry up but the bush is still pretty thick. For this reason it's not the ideal time for game-viewing. The dry season (late June - October) is best for seeing animals as the bush is thin and dry and they tend to gather around permanent water sources. This isn't to say that you won't have good game-viewing in May -- it's still good, just not at the same level it will be later in the year. The big difference will be in the Linyanti area, which really comes into its own during the dry season.

Cheers,

Julian

Singapore
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2. Re: okavango delta- high risk area for malaria and dengue fever?

Thank you for the helpful information Julian!

Are there side effects for these anti malaria medications? I am more concerned with my 10 year old son if the medication will be safe for him. I am still scouting around for a doctor here to discuss the topic, but any information that you can contribute will be very helpful...

London, United...
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3. Re: okavango delta- high risk area for malaria and dengue fever?

Hello,

Like virtually all medications, anti-malarials have side-effects. There are three main options: Malarone, Larium, and doxycycline. Of the three, Malarone has the lowest side effect profile, and it is available in paediatric dosing in the UK (and given how slow the NHS is to bring new drugs on board I'm sure it's available elsewhere as well).

If you're particularly concerned, you could do a drug trial under the supervision of a physician before you leave home.

Because the best drug for your son (and for you) depends on personal medical history, you should definitely consult with a travel medicine or tropical diseases specialist.

Cheers,

Julian

4. Re: okavango delta- high risk area for malaria and dengue fever?

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