SASTM would like to advise visitors to the Park about the risk of malaria and precautionary measures to be taken. The high malaria season runs from September to May, although there is some risk throughout the year, especially after unseasonal rains. Strict mosquito bite prevention measures should be adopted, and the addition of prophylactic medication (chemoprophylaxis) should be strongly considered in consultation with healthcare providers, during the high-risk months.
Strict mosquito bite prevention measures involve preventing the bite of the mosquito between dusk and dawn and includes:
- Using insect repellents containing DEET applied to exposed skin
- Burning mosquito coils, using of fans and air-conditioning, and keeping window and door screens closed
- Wearing long sleeves and trousers
It is very important to always rule out the possibility of malaria first, especially as the signs and symptoms of malaria may be mistaken for influenza (flu) or Covid-19. Severe illness can develop within a few days if not urgently diagnosed and promptly treated.
Therefore, any person who has travelled to the KNP or environs who develops a fever/flu-like illness must be urgently tested for malaria first, irrespective of any consideration for flu/Covid-19.
Treatment for malaria is very effective provided there is early diagnosis and prompt commencement of treatment.