Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Bloody Skeeter

For December 7th, I'll take a moment to remember those lost at Pearl Harbor in 1941...

Today is Malarone day, here on the ship as we nearing Luanda and the threat of possibly contracting the deadly form of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum.  So, I'll now be taking a daily dose of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride and continuing until a week after I get home.  For those medically-minded AMIAH readers, Atovaquone is a selective inhibitor of parasite mitochondrial electron transport. Proguanil hydrochloride primarily exerts its effect by means of the metabolite cycloguanil, a dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor. Inhibition of dihydrofolate reductase in the malaria parasite disrupts deoxythymidylate synthesis, and now the rest of you know more about the newest and most effective anti-malaria drug on the market.  Side effects include green poo and drooling on yourself, by the way.

Given that malaria can have such a long incubation period and that people in the Midwestern United States aren't all that familiar with the symptoms and effects of malaria, I'll also be bringing home a presentation that PW and the kids will be forced to sit through, just in case I get it and loose my head before realizing I have it.  Evidently, that is a relatively common occurrence for those of us that work in malaria-prone areas and live elsewhere.  Guys get it, go home and forget all about it, think they have the flu and drop dead three days later...not the best way to spend your break.

Oh yes, and additionally, I'll be taking  liberal doses of the local malaria preventive-The Bloody Skeeter.  This consists of a double-shot of the home-made version of a spirit similar to tequila, with two live mosquitoes floating on top.  Good times.

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