Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dive Travel to Malaria-Risk Regions

Fact: The world is full of mosquitoes. Fact: Asia Pacific has a few spots with heavier densities of mosquitoes carrying diseases like dengue fever, encephalitis and, most notably, malaria. Follow these tips and you can decrease the likelihood of contracting malaria.

The easiest way to avoid malaria is to avoid getting bitten by an infected mosquito:

1. Select a resort/live-aboard with screened windows.

2. Wear long sleeves and pants in neutral colours. As an extra precaution, treat clothing with permethrin (e.g., Sawyer Duranon Permethrin Insect Repellent).

3. Stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

4. Wear an appropriate strength DEET repellent (e.g., UltraThon 32%). Picaridin-based repellents also are quite effective and much less irritating to the skin and malodorous than DEET (e.g., Cutter Advanced Aerosol).

5. Avoid scented toiletries.

6. Upon arrival, treat your quarters with bug spray and retreat on a regular basis.

Next, consider taking an antimalarial:

1. The right medication depends upon the area you’re visiting, so check with your doctor.

2. Malarone (atovaquone + proguanil) is among the safest and most effective on the market.

3. Lariam (mefloquine) is also quite effective, but has potential side effects of concern to divers because they are dangerous and may mimic DCI — e.g., dizziness, sensory and motor abnormalities, headache and fatigue.

Thanks to Sport Diver for this information

Kathy Dowsett

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