Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What you can catch in Africa

Before we came to Africa, I never really worried about the potential health risks. We had our malaria pills and I figured you just had to be careful overall. After being on this safari trip for the last couple weeks, I now see a potential need to worry. :P

When we first joined the safari group, we heard about this fungal disease that had affected half the group! Lovely. Those who had it had memorable scars to display. It wasn't pleasant and us newbies knew who the fungal group was and tried to stay clear of them. I think that's all passed though.

Then, the morning we were heading into the serengeti, two guys got tested for malaria and were positive. They were on Malarone too which apparently is one of the best drugs out there for this. They both got some pills to fight it and off we went to the Serengeti. One guy recovered really quickly while the other felt terrible for the next couple days. When we got back to Arusha, he got tested again and he still had malaria. The docs put him on a more advanced course for 5 days and yesterday, he said he was feeling much better now. Apparently, if you're going to get malaria, this is the best place to get it! They have tons of pills here to fight it.

The first guy who got malaria and recovered quickly soon felt like crap a few days later again. We all thought the malaria was back but it turned out he now had a bacterial infection in his blood and intestines. That just sounds bad. They ended up injecting him with 40mls of something and gave him pills. I don't think I would have readily accepted a needle in this part of the world though.

Another girl we know had a worm in her foot and she got it extracted while it was still alive. Nice huh?

Won't you all be happy to see us when we get home? ;) Don't worry, we've got our full physicals scheduled shortly after our arrival.


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