Health After Hunt

Health After Hunt covers possible health issues after you've got home from your hunt in Africa. It is important to keep a particular eye on your health for at least a year, as many tropical diseases take some time to manifest themselves.

Post-Tropical Check-Up

  • Opinions vary on the need for a medical examination on returning from your African hunt.
  • If you have any symptoms or are worried at all, a check-up within a week of return will reassure you and may reveal treatable disease.
  • The trouble with many tropical diseases, is that the symptoms are many and varied, often vague and non-specific.
  • Is a headache or tiredness the onset of malaria or bilharzia?
  • If you are unwell in the post-hunt year, seek medical advice and tell the physician exactly where you have been and for how long. If your physician is not a tropical disease expert, ask to be referred to a specialist centre.
  • A number of diseases can be diagnosed by physical examination and various screening tests on blood, stool and urine.

Malaria Symptoms

It is very important not to skip any anti-malarial tablets once you get home - the length of the course is designed to cover the incubation period of the disease.

Look out for any or all of the following symptoms. No matter how dumb you might feel going to a doctor with a 'cold' just get a malaria blood test.

  • Feeling of being unwell
  • Possible fever
  • Possible headache
  • Possible abdominal pain
  • Possible diarrhoea

Schistosomiasis / Bilharzia Symptoms

Again all non-specific but if some symptoms occur and you know you have been in fresh water during your hunt, get checked out.

Diagnosis will involve examination of urine and stool taken at least 40 days after last possible exposure. White cell count and a specific serological test are useful.

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Haematuria (blood in urine)
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Cough

African Tick Bite Fever Symptoms

Tick bite fever usually manifests itself about a week after the bite and unless you are on a long hunt, this will show up at home normally.

Continue checking for ticks and bite-sites at home as they can continue to survive for many weeks.

If you get any symptoms, which are similar to malaria, get a check-up and blood test to eliminate malaria.

Then you should only need a short course of antibiotics to cure the tick bite fever.

  • Generally unwell like a cold or flu
  • Fever

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Page Updated: Feb 2024

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