"Avoid malaria by keeping some locals at bay ..." Nosy Sainte Marie Warnings Or Dangers Tip by CatherineReichardt
Nosy Sainte Marie Warnings and Dangers: 1 reviews and 0 photos
There is a reason that tropical paradises are lush - it usually rains a lot and there is plenty of water around. And with the water come the unwelcome locals- the mosquitoes!
Malaria is endemic throughout all of tropical Madagascar. Even if you are right on the coast, chances are that there is standing water close by, which makes ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes. Conventional wisdom is that mozzies generally venture forth during the night, but the reality is that they are particularly active at dawn and dusk, and you'll also encounter them in shady vegetated areas, even during the day.
The first - and best - precaution that you can take is to ensure that you're not bitten in the first place. This means ensuring that you sleep under a mosquito net - and preferably spraying this with insect repellent before you take occupancy - so check when you book that the hotel provides these (spraying should also displace any other unwelcome residents such as cockroaches and bedbugs). Be sure that you have some sort of mosquito repellent device in your room. Many people (including myself) like these electrically powered units into which you slot pads impregnated with repellent - however, these obviously rely on electricity, and are useless in a power cut. Also bear in mind that many of the hotels and resorts do not have grid power, and instead rely on generators which only run for a few hours. Chances are that the generator gets switched off mid evening, at exactly the time you most need mozzie protection! I would therefore suggest that you either revert to conventional mosquito coils (and a packet of matches), or at least bring some with you, just as a backup.
Equally important is to cover up exposed flesh from late afternoon onwards - mozzies particularly like exposed flesh around joints such as wrists, ankles and knees where the blood vessels are close to surface. Sadly, this precaution is not elegant and won't qualify you as automatic inclusion into glossy magazines as an example of beach chic, but then, but then, there's nothing glamorous about malaria either! Also make sure that you cover the exposed parts (hands, neck, face) with mosquito repellent such as Tabard or Peaceful Sleep (but make sure not to get this in your eyes as it stings like hell!)
Despite all your precautions, the chances are that you may still get bitten, and, if so, you need to bear in mind that malaria has an incubation period of several weeks. If so, please consult a doctor as soon as you experience flu-like symptoms and mention that you've recently been in a malarial area: better safe than sorry.
If all this sounds rather extreme, please bear in mind that I have had celebral malaria, so know exactly how grim it can be. Put simply, it's a potential killer, and even if you catch it early enough, on the first day, you feel as though you are going to die, and on subsequent days, you rather wish you had!