Malaria: The Facts

26/04/19

Mosquito that could carry malaria

Malaria is a serious parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes. Did you know that it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to become infected with malaria? If it isn’t diagnosed and treated promptly, it can be fatal.

High Risk Areas

Tropical regions across the world who have a high risk of malaria outbreaks include parts of Africa, Asia, Central & South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Oceania.

Symptoms

It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of malaria, especially when you are travelling to countries where there is a high risk of the disease. Symptoms of malaria vary but typically include:

  • A high temperature of 38°C or above
  • Feeling hot and shivery
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Generally feeling unwell

Symptoms usually appear between 7 and 18 days after becoming infected, but in some cases the symptoms may not appear for up to a year, or occasionally even longer.

Malaria from all species can be disabling, however malaria caused by the species Plasmodium Falciparum can progress rapidly and cause life threatening complications, if not diagnosed and treated quickly.

Prevention

mosquito spray, deet spray, mosquito repellent

Prevention of malaria involves several steps and can be remembered by using the ABCD approach as follows:

A = Awareness of the risk
Double check whether you’re at risk of getting malaria.

B = Bite prevention
Use DEET based mosquito repellent to avoid mosquito bites, re-apply it regularly, wear clothing to cover areas of exposed skin and use a mosquito net, particularly at night.

C = Check whether you need malaria prevention tablets
Ensure you take the correct antimalarial tablets, the correct dose at the correct time and always finish the course. Our experienced nurses are always on hand to recommend the correct tablets for the areas you will be visiting.

D = Diagnosis
Seek immediate medical advice if you have malaria symptoms up to a year after returning from your travels.

There are a range of different anti-malarial tablets that are prescribed to travellers based on several factors including medical history, family history, destination of travel, current medications, age, pregnancy and previous problems with anti-malarial tablets.

Here at London Travel Clinic, our travel health experts are always on hand to offer advice on malaria and provide antimalarial tablets if recommended. You can book an appointment at one of our vaccination clinics today to ensure you are protected against malaria and other infectious diseases whilst travelling abroad.


Article last reviewed on 26/04/2019 by:

Denise Chalkley RN, RM, RHV, BSc, AMFTM RCPS (Glas)
Clinical & Operations Director for Travel Medicine

Denise is an associate member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine, and a freelance lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow for the Faculty of Travel Medicine. She also lectures at the University of Hertfordshire teaching immunisations, tuberculosis, sexual health and travel medicine.

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