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Malaria – what you need to know:
Malaria is a protozoan tropical infection of red blood cells and is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the infection in its saliva. The infection can cause:
- and in severe cases, coma or death.
The risk of contracting malaria in affected areas is significant. Approximately 1,500 travellers return to the UK with Malaria every year. Travellers can minimise the risk of mosquito bites with use of insect repellents and mosquito nets at night when travelling to endemic.
Many cases infection can be prevented by the ABCD approach:
Awareness of risk – Know your risk of Malaria.
Bite prevention – Avoid bites as much as possible.
Chemoprophylaxis – Take the right antimalarial tablets.
Diagnosis – Get immediate medical help for symptoms.
At present there are 5 prophylaxis regimes available which are required due to drug resistance in different regions. There are a range of different Antimalarial tablets that will be prescribed to travellers based on several factors, including: destination, medical history, family history, current medications, previous problems with anti-malarial tablets, age, and pregnancy.
Discuss your requirements with the doctor to ensure you get safe and effective protection from this potentially fatal disease.
Where are the risk areas?
Areas of risk include tropical and sub-tropical:
- South America
- Sub-Saharan Africa
Anti-Malarials are given to travellers who would be entering areas of high risk. To see if there area you are travelling to is risk area, you can visit this helpful website.
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