The captain of Arsenal football club, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says if he had not treated the malarial he contracted in March, it would have led to big problems for him. He described the period he was down with the disease as “the worst moment of being sick”.
Aubameyang fell sick a few days after he returned to North London, England from the FIFA international break in March. The Gabonese football star tried to manage the sickness at home but couldn’t. It grew so bad that he had to be hospitalized.
He spent days at the hospital undergoing treatment and spent weeks trying to regain fitness after he was certified healed by his doctor.
Despite that he was discharged from the hospital, it took him until April 29 before he tested competitive football in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final round against Villarreal.
The 31-year-old Gabon international who started the game from the bench couldn’t do much when coach Mikel Arteta introduced him into the game in the second half. Arsenal returned to England with a 2-1 defeat.
Ahead of the return leg which is scheduled to kick-off at 20:00 later today, Aubameyang said it was hard for him when he was down with Malaria and noted how scared his family was because he lost four kilograms of weight due to the sickness.
“I was feeling just normal, a bit down – I thought that it was the travel,” Aubameyang said.
“As you know, going to Gabon is not so close to here. I felt just a bit tired, especially against Liverpool, but I thought it was just because of the travel.
“I was feeling very, very bad. This was the worst moment of being sick in my life, it was really hard.
“I had three days in a row, fever, all day and all night, non-stop. Even the paracetamol and stuff had no effects on this. After that, I spoke to the doctor.
“I said I needed to go to the hospital because I had traveled to Africa so maybe it was something like malaria.
“I stayed in the hospital for three days. I was really, really down and I think I lost four kilograms. It was a really bad moment and I think my family was a bit scared to see me like this.
“I had some good treatment, it worked well, the doctors and the hospital. I am lucky I got treatment at the right moment, if you don’t treat it quickly it can lead to big problems”
Malaria is a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The severity of malaria varies based on the species of plasmodium. These species are common in Africa.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is mentally ready but not physically sound
On Sunday, May 2, coach Mikel Arteta allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to start a Premier League game for the first time since he contracted the malaria infection.
The Gabonese striker played for 78 minutes in the Premier League game which was against Newcastle United. Before the coach substituted him for Nicholas Pepe, Aubameyang had scored a goal in the 66th minute of the match which was a great motivation ahead of their tonight’s must-win Europa League match against Villarreal.
Though the Gabonese striker revealed that he is fit mentally, he admitted that he is not 100 percent fit physically but that might not stop the coach from throwing him into the game either from the bench or from the first minute of the game.
“In my mind, I feel more than 100 percent but physically maybe I am not”, Aubameyang added. “Hopefully my body will respond as well but definitely in my mind I am ready.”