Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite (Plasmodium species). It is transmitted through the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.
People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu- like illness. Symptoms usually appear between 10-15 days after the mosquito bite; it may also be presented as late as several months after departure from an endemic area and after anti-malaria medications have been stopped.
Left untreated, it may develop severe complications and even cause death.
Risk varies from place to place and also within a country. For example, there may be no or lower risk in the cities but substantial risks are present in the countryside. Travelers staying in airconditioned hotels may be at lower risk than backpackers or adventure travelers.
Malaria commonly occurs in places like Sub- Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, India, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Central and South America and the Dominican Republic.
Inform your pharmacist or doctor of every city/ state/region that you are visiting so that the risk can be accurately assessed.
Protection from mosquito bites is the first line of defence against malaria since it is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes
Wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers between dusk and dawn as the mosquitoes are more active during these times.
Apply insect repellent containing DEET more than 20% to exposed skin. For children not more than 10% DEET. Alternatively, insect repellent patches can also be used.
Use mosquito coils or electric inserts impregnated with synthetic pyrethroids in the room at night.
Sleep with netting around beds, with the edges tucked or in a screened room.
Yes. Mefloquine, Doxycycline, Atovaquone with Proguanil (Malarone®) and Chloroquine are available.
You only need to take one of these. Discuss with your pharmacist or doctor which is the most suitable
for you and according to the country you will be visiting.
Following these guidelines and medication might not guarantee complete protection. If you have a fever and/or experience chills between one week and up to 1 year after your return, you should seek medical attention. Inform the doctor that you have been to a malarious area. Malaria can be effectively treated if detected early. A delay in treatment may result in serious consequences.