Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites which are transmitted through bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species p.falciparum and p.vivax pose the highest threat.
Malaria is present worldwide but particularly high risk in tropical and subtropical countries. According to the recent World Malaria Report, released in November 2017, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, up from 211 million cases in 2015. All travelers should check the risk of malaria before traveling to a particular destination.
Prevention is based on avoiding mosquito bites. Travelers should take practical steps to avoid mosquito bites such as weather clothing to cover body, using mosquito repellents and mosquito nets. Antimalarial drugs can also be used to prevent malaria when used with all other preventative measures.
Malaria symptoms include fever, shivering, sweating, muscle aches, headache, and vomiting. Symptoms are similar to flu-like and can be accompanied by other symptoms. The most serious form of malaria can be life-threatening so if in doubt, seek medical advice quickly.
There are a number of antimalarial drugs available in the UK for those traveling to high-risk areas. Depending on where you are traveling to and other factors such as your activities, accommodations, and length of stay, will determine if you require antimalarial drugs. Book a consultation to assess your risk of malaria before traveling.