Former senior officer dies of malaria: In the intensive care unit at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, his death was determined today (Friday) frommalaria Of a resident of the city, Col. Moshe Zarka, 60.
Zarka, who previously served as head of the POWs and Missing Persons Department in the Intelligence Division and has been active in the Rotary Club in Nahariya for the past few years, arrived at the emergency room earlier this week, complaining of high fever for four days and a sense of confusion. He also said he had returned from Chad in Africa.
After the possibility of coronary heart disease was ruled out, it was discovered that Zarka had contracted malaria, an infectious disease found in tropical areas. He was hospitalized in the intensive care unit, where he received dedicated targeted treatment for malaria and additional supportive care.
Last Tuesday, his condition deteriorated rapidly within a few hours. For two and a half days his condition was severely defined, and he was anesthetized and respirated. This morning, doctors were forced to determine his death.
Director of the Intensive Care Unit, Dr. Nicola Mehol: “The deterioration in the patient’s condition was very rapid, and he suffered from a multi-systemic collapse, including the kidney, blood and brain systems. “I ask anyone who comes from a tropical country and suffers from a high fever to come to the emergency room as soon as possible, in order to prevent the spread of the disease and cause irreversible damage.”
Zarka was born in Tower Valley to Albert and Yvette, a brother to four brothers and sisters. “He began his career at the military boarding school, and from there paved the way for his life. In the army, he met his beloved Leah – and together they established a family of glory,” said the son, Yoad.
He added: “‘Zarka’ as everyone used to call him, was active and involved in so many issues and touched the hearts of endless people from north to south. From the State of Israel to the many countries he came to. Always right and willing to help, give, donate, secretly and openly. Active in organizations whose whole purpose is to make the world in which we live better. More complete. Righteous and a great believer and at the same time let every person be a person. From his friends who were members of the SLA, to the greatest believers. Believed that it was possible to connect and unite them all into one family, without distinction without difference.
“He served 25 years in the army, an officer and commander who is second to none. Colonel, with four children in the house who still continues to fight for his country. He believed with all his heart that he would succeed, and did so – made every place he attended better. A cheerful, smiling, happy man “The salt of the earth really. The words are small to describe his work, but it is important to know that we have lost a great man.”
During his time in the army, Zarqa served as a paratrooper lieutenant colonel, 769th lieutenant colonel, chief of staff, 42nd lieutenant colonel, 91st lieutenant colonel, 91st lieutenant colonel and in his last position was the head of the IDF POWs and Missing Persons Department. According to family members, “In his 60 years of life, he has managed to touch thousands of people, direct people to the right path of life, and all this with the humility and modesty that is characteristic of him. This is a huge loss of a great man. One in his generation. “
Malaria is a severe fever caused by a parasite that is transmitted to the body through mosquito bites. Malaria-infected areas are found in some countries in the Far East, South and Central America, in Africa as well as in Papua New Guinea, but according to experts – most of the morbidity in Israel comes from African countries.
In doing so it should be noted that there are a number of treatments to prevent malaria infection offered to those flying to these countries. Prof. Eli Schwartz of the Institute of Tropical Medicine at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, and president of the Israeli Society of Parasitology and Tropical Diseases, explains:
“Seeing malaria among people returning from places like Africa is common, as it is the main focus of the disease. Anyone who travels to Africa and does not take treatment for malaria is simply endangering himself. The pills used in recent years have almost no side effects. “No, but all the countries in between have a higher prevalence.”
Prof Schwartz added that “in large parts of Ethiopia, for example, they are outside the malaria areas due to the height of the mountains, and in West Africa the disease is more common than in the East. Preventive treatment could have been done and there is a collection of misconceptions about this treatment. There are between 50 and 100 Malaria cases in Israel per year, the vast majority return from Africa and the vast majority do not take the preventive treatment and the longer there is a delay in the beginning of the treatment, the higher the risk and among people aged 50 and over, the risk is higher.
“Malaria patients today are older men, usually businessmen, who have returned from Africa. On average every two years there is a death rate from malaria in Israel, which is certainly very rare. “Malaria will die in Israel. Need timely treatment and good treatment. Is it available in Israel in Israel? The answer is no.”
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