Why Didn't George Clooney Just Take Malaria Pills?

Emily Abbate

Exactly 24,563 nurses have offered to help George Clooney after his recent bout with malaria -- or so says Piers Morgan who poked fun at Clooney's situation on Twitter. Of course, there's no official count for women who are desperate to help the sexy star, but likely Morgan's not that far off base.

The 49-year-old actor and philanthropist contracted the serious disease during his recent trip to Sudan. He was there lending his support to a referendum on independence in the South and came back with the, ahem, souvenir.

But come ON, women, why so much sympathy for this guy? Because let me tell you a little something about malaria: There are ways to help prevent it.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are five different drugs that can be taken to help prevent initial infection. You can also reduce your risk for infection by using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves.

So, Clooney, why didn't you take the pills?

There are a ton of side effects that can occur while taking the pills:

  • Nausea
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Rashes
  • Depression
  • Prone to sunburn
  • Hallucinations

In fact, many seasoned travelers opt not to take the pills because the side effects are so bad. And the worst part is, even if you decide to risk the awful side effects, the pills aren't completely preventative. In other words, you can take the pills, have hallucinations, and still contract malaria. This could even be what happened to Clooney!

Luckily, he's made a full recovery, and the situation provided him with the opportunity to shed some light on the disease, which is a much more serious issue in Africa than it is here. In fact, with only 1,500 cases of malaria being diagnosed in the U.S. each year, it's not very often that we get to hear about what the disease entails. The actor told TMZ:

This illustrates how with proper medication, the most lethal condition in Africa can be reduced to a bad 10 days instead of a death sentence.

Do you think Clooney should have taken anti-malarials?

image via csztova/Flickr

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