Travellers should not rely on medication alone to prevent malaria. The best protection is to avoid mosquito bites.
Malaria is a serious infection spread by ‘Anopheles’ mosquitoes. The main symptoms of malaria are fever, chills, sweats, headache, muscle pains, vomiting and fatigue.
Malaria is common in the tropical countries of Asia, Africa, Central and South America and the Pacific islands. The risk is greatest in remote and rural areas and in the warmer months. Most travellers to major cities or resorts are not at risk. Check your risk with your doctor before travelling.
Tablets reduce the risk of catching malaria by over 90%. Remember to continue to take them for up to 4 weeks after you leave the malarious area.
How to prevent mosquito bites
However, strategies to prevent mosquito bites are also essential especially at dusk and through the night when most bites occur.
· Wear long sleeves and pants in light coloured fabric between dusk and dawn
· Avoid outdoor activities after dusk
· Use an insect repellant containing DEET (up to 20%), on exposed skin and clothing
· Choose screened accommodation and use bednets (treated with permethrin)
· Use insect sprays and mosquito coils indoors
· Avoid strong perfumes and colognes
Even travellers who have taken the correct medication can contract malaria, for up to a year or more after returning home. Seek medical care as soon as possible if you develop a fever. Early treatment is essential as malaria can deteriorate rapidly.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.