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If South Africa is locked at Level 1, that doesn’t mean you should let go of your guard.
If you’ve booked a December vacation, make sure you take the necessary precautions.
Covid-19 against malaria
If you are going on vacation in 2020, you need to understand the differences between malaria and Covid-19 symptoms.
According to Sherwin Charles, co-founder of the welfare organization Goodbye Malaria, malaria may pose a more immediate threat than Covid-19 in an endemic area.
“Yes, both diseases can be fatal, but we need to know what symptoms to look out for and also remember that if left untreated, malaria can be fatal faster and kill you within days while Covid-19 a a little longer. “
He shares the symptoms of everyone.
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are:
· Dry cough
The most common symptoms of malaria are:
· A headache
While there are myriad other symptoms that could arise, the notorious fever is the main common symptom between malaria and Covid-19.
“If you find yourself in a malaria area and develop a fever, be careful not to limit the potential cause to Covid-19 alone.
“When comparing the two diseases, malaria is the more immediate threat and should be tested and treated first.
“That doesn’t mean you should disregard all Covid-19 precautions in this process, but malaria needs to be ruled out first,” he said.
Charles believes that the fact that you can get both diseases at the same time makes understanding the differences between the two even more important.
Protection is the best prevention
So the good news is that, much like Covid-19, malaria is by and large both preventable and treatable.
When you’re in Africa, higher temperatures mean mosquitoes can mature faster and have more time to spread the disease.
The malaria parasite also matures faster in warmer temperatures – making Africa a prime location for malaria.
“If you travel to areas like Mozambique, the Lowveld of Mpumalanga or the Kruger National Park in South Africa during this festive season, you need to be prepared.
“But that shouldn’t stop you from basking in the glory of this beautiful continent.
“There are many ways to defend yourself against mosquitoes,” he added.
What travelers can do:
· Apply insect repellent to exposed skin
· Close windows and doors at night unless they are shielded.
Spray an aerosol insecticide on the sleeping area.
· Burn mosquito coils and mosquito mats in the sleeping area.
· Sleep under a mosquito-proof bed net.
· Wear long-sleeved clothing, pants and socks outdoors during this time.
Wear your mask and social distance to prevent the spread of Covid-19.