Is Africa any more of a health hazard?

Scott CWO

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Go to your doctor beforehand and always take along a couple types of antibiotics. Some are best for internal issues and others for skin. I always take an anti malaria medication. I’ve been vaccinated for yellow fever as well as hepatitis, etc...

Before my CAR trip, I got the rabies vaccination because it was recommended for being around all the dogs used on the hunt. As some of you know, I was very glad I had a Ripcord policy that got me out of a dangerous situation. About four days after I got home, I developed a rash on my torso, upper arms and upper legs. It wouldn’t go away. I did have some sort of a bite on my thigh. My doctor recommended I see a doctor at the Travel Clinic at UCHEALTH in Denver. I was tested for everything but nothing came back on the tests. After a month, the rash disappeared. In CAR it’s very hot and humid. I am not a sweaty type but over there I was sweating constantly. Here in Colorado, humidity is low. The doctor figured my body was adapting back to a dry climate and no sweating. Weird.
 

Randy F

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LOL. I have a friend who teaches at Johns Hopkins Medical School and he is horrified whenever he sees my photographs of wading in the swamps of the Zambezi Delta. No parasites smaller than a leach (some of those were the size of small water moccasins! :oops:) to date, though my left leg blew up as a result of razor grass cuts marinating in that stew. Fortunately, an antibiotic knocked it out over night.
Zambezi Delta

razor grass results - Zambezi Delta

I have never really become sick on the African continent. But, as @BRICKBURN notes, the chances are indeed more likely there than in North America. Pay attention to the vaccination recommendations and take the shots. Take an anti-malarial if it is recommended. It is cool to be a tough guy behind the keyboard, but neither malaria nor typhoid are anything to play around with at the age of most of my fellow correspondents on this site. I have had Shagala twice - once in northern Saudi Arabia and once on a return trip from India. You do not want it, and if you get it, you want a gorillacillin at hand.

Bring a good general purpose anti-biotic with you whenever and wherever you travel abroad. All it takes is one guy with dirty hands shredding the lettuce to make your day.
I had guess as to where the Red Leg moniker came from until I saw that. Now I’m not so sure. :giggle:;)
 

sestoppelman

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Sickest I have ever been on a hunting trip was in Montana hunting antelope! Some stomach bug hit me very hard and not to be too graphic I spend nearly all night one night outside looking for a new place to void. It was awful!
In Zim 2011, I landed I think with a bad sinus infection that got worse while there and it was brutal, but upon return from that same trip about a month and half later I landed in the hospital with viral pericarditus, or inflamation of the sac around the heart. I was one sick puppy and once out after a week, I relapsed and had to go in for another week!
It was not determined how I got it and will never knew I suppose., just know I dont ever want that again!
 

Happy Myles

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Duct Tape. Never leave home without it. I always have a compact backpacker roll with me and extras in gun case, duffle bag, and day pack. When I get into swamps in C.A.R., in Cameroon, or in the Mozambique Delta i tape my trousers closed. Also use leggings. somewhere I have a photo where I am above my waist in swamp water shooting a buffalo off the sticks. Hunters in the Zambezi Delta often wear coveralls to help fight mud and razor grass.
 

Red Leg

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I was thinking your cuts in Mozambique. Chukar answered my question below yours. Doxycycline is an antibiotic but also malaria prevention.
Now I got it. Yes, that would work and it is what I took to knock out budding balloon leg.
 

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I came down with malaria after returning from one of my trips to Botswana. I didn’t take malaria meds as it was in the middle of their winter. Big mistake! Luckily I knew what it was immediately as I’ve been around folks who were down with it. If you want to see a fire drill, walk into a US ER, tell them you’ve been to Africa and you have a fever!

I came down with a pretty bad GI infection in Togo years back. By the time they got all the bad bugs killed the good bugs were all dead too. Took six months to get back to normal.

I won’t go without malarone and cipro now. Lessons learned!
 

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African tick bite fever was the one for me. I’d seen it many times and the ocher of the bite site is pretty bloody obvious....unless of course you’re in A&E (ER to you) in the UK trying to convince a well meaning but largely uninformed dyed in the wool UK hospital medic that it’s not Lyme disease. Several pints of blood later - most of which went by courier to the institute for tropical medicine in London - the shift changed and I got a medic who’d spent three years in Cape Town. We had a bit of a giggle about the whole episode and I was discharged with the medication that I suggested when I arrived. The upsides was that from all the blood taken was that I was completely free of any venereal disease, prostate issues, cholesterol and my liver function was fine (that was by far the most surprising outcome lol)

FN
 

Randy F

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African tick bite fever was the one for me. I’d seen it many times and the ocher of the bite site is pretty bloody obvious....unless of course you’re in A&E (ER to you) in the UK trying to convince a well meaning but largely uninformed dyed in the wool UK hospital medic that it’s not Lyme disease. Several pints of blood later - most of which went by courier to the institute for tropical medicine in London - the shift changed and I got a medic who’d spent three years in Cape Town. We had a bit of a giggle about the whole episode and I was discharged with the medication that I suggested when I arrived. The upsides was that from all the blood taken was that I was completely free of any venereal disease, prostate issues, cholesterol and my liver function was fine (that was by far the most surprising outcome lol)

FN
Glad you made it out ok even though you were a quart low on the dipstick by the time you got out of there. ;) I had it too, not fun.
 
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Philip Glass

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It was such great news to hear in the thread 'Who Is Coming To Hunt Africa' just how many are coming. There were a few for whom the risks were deemed too high, and that is entirely their choice. I just wanted to glean a few facts to maybe put minds at ease, not so much on covid, but upon the other potential nasties that raise their heads from time to time. So, who of you got malaria? Who dengue? Ebola (gosh I hope not)? Cholera? Other? If you didn't let us know too.

I have lived in Africa all my 66 years and only had malaria once quite mildly. None of the others, but I do take sensible precautions.
No health concerns for me in Africa. Nothing will keep me from what I love doing. To each his own but there is so much misinformation now. Total deaths in the US in 2020 were the same as he last 3 years per 100k. Lies lies and more damn lies.
Philip
 

Stephen Ausband

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That would have been Lariam (spelling?), worse than magic mushrooms.
Yep. On our first trip to South Africa we took larium on our G.P.'s advice, and my wife started seeing monkeys hanging around on the rafters inside the rondaval one night. Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to realize she was seeing through larium-clouded lenses and didn't get too upset. Since then it's been doxy or nothing for us.
 

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I printed out the AH thread on tick bite fever and took it with me on one of my visits to Travel Health. The nurse took it to the doc and he reviewed the related CDC info. He had no issues in writing me a prescription for Doxy.
 

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Besides ATBF I was unlucky enough to be clobbered by the wrong mosquito and fought through West Nile Virus for a very long time. I contracted that in the states but I haven’t heard anyone mention West Nile regarding Africa.
Is West Nile Virus not an issue in Africa? I guess I was under the impression that it was global.
 

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Glad you made it out ok even though you were a quart low on the dipstick by the time you got out of there. ;) I had it too, not fun.
Did you have any suspicion you might get it before you got it? I’ve had plenty of pepper ticks on me but never the big ones. I’m wondering if it may be comparable to Lyme disease where tick has to be in you for 24+ hours?
 

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Did you have any suspicion you might get it before you got it? I’ve had plenty of pepper ticks on me but never the big ones. I’m wondering if it may be comparable to Lyme disease where tick has to be in you for 24+ hours?
The tick was behind my right knee. It wasn’t there at noon but absentmindedly scratched at an itch there around 1pm and found it then. Barely dug in and came off more easily then most. No pain no itch. Over the next few days a black dime-sized scab developed there. I started really feeling like crap about 7 days after I picked it off. So, at least in my case it didn’t take that long. At the time I had never heard of it. It announced itself very loudly.
 

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The tick was behind my right knee. It wasn’t there at noon but absentmindedly scratched at an itch there around 1pm and found it then. Barely dug in and came off more easily then most. No pain no itch. Over the next few days a black dime-sized scab developed there. I started really feeling like crap about 7 days after I picked it off. So, at least in my case it didn’t take that long. At the time I had never heard of it. It announced itself very loudly.

Tick bite fever symptoms become less and less severe every time you get it, and you will eventually get immune to it. Not every tick carries the virus, so just because you get bitten, does not mean that you WILL contract the disease. The black scab is a tell tale sign that you have been infected. The upside is that next time will be less severe.
 

Red Leg

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Zika virus (mosquitoes), Elephantiasis (parasitic worm), leprosy (from primates and armadillos)?
You'll have to come down to Texas to interact with armadillos (in some bars the primates can be a bit boisterous as well). Africa does have the Pangolin but it is not related to the armadillo. The armadillo is native to South America and spreading north as fast as climate and his adaptability will allow.
 

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You'll have to come down to Texas to interact with armadillos (in some bars the primates can be a bit boisterous as well). Africa does have the Pangolin but it is not related to the armadillo. The armadillo is native to South America and spreading north as fast as climate and his adaptability will allow.

We shoot every one we see. I actually help a friend out on his golf course a night with a suppressed .22 topped with a thermal. Those rascals can tear up a green in no time.
 

Red Leg

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We shoot every one we see. I actually help a friend out on his golf course a night with a suppressed .22 topped with a thermal. Those rascals can tear up a green in no time.
Or a yard. I make war on them constantly on our place ......... well usually.

Last spring three little guys walked right up to Mrs Red Leg and me while we were picking up fallen pecan branches. Didn't have the heart to bash in their tiny little heads. Though, I am pretty sure that I had liquidated them by September. ;)

But back to topic, I typically only take one rifle and no more than forty rounds of ammunition when hunting them.
 
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