oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Focus on hepatitis A and the traveller : travel medicine

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



A 34-year-old pilot flying for an exploration company in arid Chad was reported as being ''very ill with malaria.'' He was jaundiced in spite of having been given a quinine drip three times a day. The drip was administered by a heroic local doctor who leopard-crawled into the exploration camp under threat of rebel fire three times a day. The patient had not taken malaria prophylaxis and no laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis had been made. The camp was a seven-hour arduous drive from N'djamena and the pilot was too ill to fly himself out.

When the pilot finally made it to Johannesburg, there was no laboratory evidence of malaria whatsoever, but he had a markedly elevated hepatitis A IgM. He admitted to not having been vaccinated against hepatitis A prior to his departure.

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