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August 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Mosquitoes and Malaria

Too many divers ignore the threat

from the August, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Malaria is a serious disease that not all traveling divers fully consider. Years ago, I was sitting in Ambua Lodge in Papua New Guinea, talking to a California diver who had just spent a week on a liveaboard. He was drinking a gin and tonic, while sweat rolled down his forehead and dripped off his nose. He thought he might have contracted malaria from mosquitoes along the shore, he said, and maybe the tonic would help. He had an another drink, but in less than an hour, he began shivering uncontrollably and headed off to get under the blankets. He was at the lodge four more days before he could travel. The quinine in that tonic water wasn't much help.

In 2015, there were about 214 million reported malaria cases. The tiny, insidious Anopheles mosquito spreads the malaria plasmodium, of which there are five known species. The plasmodium falciparum, the most difficult to treat, is prevalent in all areas of the Solomon Islands....

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