Friday, 23 October 2009

Bilharzia in Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is one of the biggest bodies of freshwater in Africa, and a beautiful place to visit. There are however parts of the lake where swimming is not recommended, which are predominantly in the far north and far south of the country. This is due to Bilharzia, a disease contracted from snails, that plagues small areas of the Malawi lakeshore.

Adhering to the following simple guidelines will minimise (but not necessarily eliminate) the risk of infection. Following visits to Lake MalaƔi, be aware of fatigue or flu-like symptoms, and consult a medical doctor for an examination.

Avoid contact with water in streams and ponds behind the shoreline,
as these habitats are potential high-risk transmission sites (as they are in most other African countries).

The good news is that most of the central part of the lake is Bilharzia free - and you are able to swim on Sambani Lodge's beautiful beach without a problem!

Alos, the tourism department in Malawi is planning a programme of certification for Bilharzia free areas - read more here: http://www.nyasatimes.com/tourism/bilhazia-in-lake-malawi-as-tourism-dept-plans-to-mark-free-areas.html - more to come in future posts!

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