Feed back from parties with interests in the Island areas mentioned
above brought it to my attention of their disagrees to the mention
of malaria in the islands. My reply after these comments is that in
this age of information and technology it is far better to be informed
that to go in blindly and discovering by your mistake. Malaria can
be fatal and after 20 years of experience in the mentioned areas SEVERAL
SURFERS HAVE DIED FROM THE SICKNESS.
Not that I am saying don’t go there, the people who have died
have been doing it tough and not looking after themselves and most
importantly NOT BEING INFORMED TO THE RISKS.
Now we are living in a era where we have established surf camps in
many locations and comfortable surf charter vessels to suit your
needs & style. These take a lot of the hardship away with good
food and clean living areas.
My Advice. Remember the risk, keep informed and use common sense.
Surfing is a great Sport and the Indonesian Islands here have some
of the best waves on the planet. I weighed up the risk and kept informed.
We welcome to your
comments and information.
Over the years of living and working in Sumatra one of the most
frequently asked questions by surfers travelling to Nias, Hinako
group & other islands has been as to the risk of Malaria.
I my self have had 2 confirmed case of Dengue Fever a mosquito
virus and have seen numerous cases of Malaria sickness in the
villages and island locations frequented by surfers. More recently
daughter contracted the P. vivax strain while living in Sibolga
mainland Sumatra. So Malaria and Dengue is real and something
you can catch, so the best advice it is take precautions as recommended
by qualified persons.
to the Internet for Information & Searching Recourses
Malaria: General Information
What is malaria ?
Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal, disease
caused by a parasite. There are four kinds of malaria that can infect
Plasmodium falciparum (plaz-MO-dee-um
P. vivax (VI-vacks),
P. ovale (o-VOL-ley),
P. malaria (ma-LER-ee-aa).
Where does malaria occur ?
Malaria occurs in over 100 countries and territories.
More than 40% of the people in the world are at risk. Large areas
of Central and South America, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican
Republic), Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the
Middle East, and Oceania are considered malaria-risk areas (an area
of the world that has malaria).
How common is malaria ?
The World Health Organization estimates that
yearly 300-500 million cases of malaria occur and more than 1 million
people die of malaria. About 1,200 cases of malaria are diagnosed
in the United States each year. Most cases in the United States
are in immigrants and travelers returning from malaria-risk areas,
mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
How do you get malaria ?
Humans get malaria
from the bite of a malaria-infected mosquito. When a mosquito
bites an infected person, it ingests microscopic
malaria parasites found in the person’s blood. The malaria
parasite must grow in the mosquito for a week or more before infection
can be passed to another person. If, after a week, the mosquito
then bites another person, the parasites go from the mosquito’s
mouth into the person’s blood. The parasites then travel to
the person’s liver, enter the liver’s cells, grow and
multiply. During this time when the parasites are in the liver,
the person has not yet felt sick. The parasites leave the liver
and enter red blood cells; this may take as little as 8 days or
as many as several months. Once inside the red blood cells, the
parasites grow and multiply. The red blood cells burst, freeing
the parasites to attack other red blood cells. Toxins from the
are also released into the blood, making the person feel sick.
If a mosquito bites this person while the parasites are in his
blood, it will ingest the tiny parasites. After a week or more,
the mosquito can infect another person.
Each year in the United States, a few cases
of malaria result from blood transfusions, are passed from mother
to fetus during pregnancy, or are transmitted by locally infected
What are the signs and symptoms
of malaria ?
Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like
illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness.
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause
anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because
of the loss of red blood cells. Infection with one type of malaria,
P. falciparum, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure,
seizures, mental confusion, coma, and death.
How soon will a person feel sick
after being bitten by an infected mosquito ?
For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to
4 weeks after infection, although a person may feel ill as early
as 8 days or up to 1 year later. Two kinds of malaria, P. vivax
and P. ovale, can relapse; some parasites can rest in the liver
for several months up to 4 years after an infected mosquito bites
a person. When these parasites come out of hibernation and begin
invading red blood cells, the person will become sick.
How is malaria diagnosed ?
Malaria is diagnosed by looking for the parasites
in a drop of blood. Blood will be put onto a microscope slide and
stained so that the parasites will be visible under a microscope.
Any traveler who becomes ill with a fever
or flu-like illness while traveling and up to 1 year after returning
home should immediately seek professional medical care. You should
tell your health care provider that you have been traveling in a
Who is at risk for malaria ?
Persons living in and travelers to, any area
of the world where malaria is transmitted may become infected.
What is the treatment for malaria
Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs.
The type of drugs and length of treatment depend on which kind of
malaria is diagnosed, where the patient was infected, the age of
the patient, and how severely ill the patient was at start of treatment.
How can malaria and other travel-related
illnesses be prevented ?
Visit your health care provider 4-6 weeks
before foreign travel for any necessary vaccinations and a prescription
for an antimalarial drug.
Take your antimalarial drug exactly on schedule without missing
Prevent mosquito and other insect bites. Use DEET insect repellent
on exposed skin and flying insect spray in the room where you sleep.
Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, especially from dusk to
dawn. This is the time when mosquitoes that spread malaria bite.
Sleep under a mosquito bednet that has been dipped in permethrin
insecticide if you are not living in screened or air-conditioned
Malaria-risk information is available from CDC’s Fax Information
Service or at CDC’s Internet Website:
To request fax information, call 1-888-232-3299 and
listen to the instructions. For the directory of all available
traveler’s health faxes, arranged by regions of the world,
request document number 000005.
For more information on malaria, see the Diseases section
and read Prescription Drugs for Preventing Malaria (Information
for the Public), Preventing Malaria in Pregnant Women (Information
for the Public), and Preventing Malaria in Infants and Children
(Information for the Public).
Identical malaria prevention information is provided at the CDC
Internet website and the toll free fax information service.
This fact sheet is for information only
and is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute
for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions
about the disease described above or thinks that you might have
malaria, consult a health care provider.