A Cautionary tale : one traveler's ordeal with severe malaria
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A Cautionary tale : one traveler's ordeal with severe malaria

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      Mr. Ver Wys was returning home after spending three weeks in Haiti working for Friend Ships, a humanitarian group based at Port Mercy in Lake Charles. He had left for Haiti on January 15, 2005, aboard the Spirit of Grace, one of Friend Ships’ fleet of ships it uses to carry out its mission. He had worked in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, delivering the relief material the ship carried to its intended recipients. He enjoyed this work and found it very rewarding, as he had enjoyed all his previous work with Friend Ships during the past 8 years. And during this, his first trip to Haiti, he had come to love the Haitian people and their country, so vibrant and full of hope in spite of the many problems they face.

      During his first week in Haiti, Mr. Ver Wys slept on the ship. He then moved on land and spent the rest of his stay in Port-au-Prince, sleeping in a medium-sized tent on the outskirts of the city. There were many mosquitoes and other bothersome insects, especially at night, and Mr. Ver Wys occasionally used insect repellents to keep from getting bitten or stung. However, he did not use a bednet, even though his sleeping quarters were neither air-conditioned nor screened against insects. An insecticide-treated bednet, providing a protective enclosure around the sleeper, would have shielded Mr. Ver Wys from mosquito bites at night.

      Stuart Ver Wys gave the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention permission to interview him, discuss his medical history with his attending physicians, and publish his story.

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