Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease, transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito occurring in many tropical regions of the world.
It is a potentially serious parasitic infection transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. In humans the disease is caused by five different species of the Plasmodium parasite. Malaria is widely distributed throughout tropical regions of the world including in parts of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Oceania. Malaria is preventable and curable if diagnosed and treated promptly.
Around 1,500 cases of malaria are reported annually in travellers returning to or arriving in the UK, with eight or less deaths reported each year since 2006. The risk of malaria varies according to season, geographic location, activities, type of accommodation, and the use of malaria prevention tablets and bite avoidance measures.
All travellers visiting areas where malaria occurs are at risk of acquiring the disease, particularly migrants to the UK who were born in malaria risk areas and return to visit friends and relatives in their country of birth. Any immunity travellers may have acquired in their country of origin wanes rapidly on migration to a country with no risk of malaria; their UK-born children will have no protection from the disease. Certain travellers are at increased risk of severe disease such as: pregnant women, those with an absent or poorly functioning spleen, children and older travellers.
The symptoms of malaria vary but typically include: fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Cough and diarrhoea may also occur. Malaria from all species can be disabling however malaria caused by the species Plasmodium falciparum can progress rapidly and cause life- threatening complications if prompt treatment is not given.
Prevention of malaria involves several steps, such as:
– Awareness of the risk
– Bite prevention (particularly at night time)
– Chemoprophylaxis (use of appropriate malaria prevention tablets)
Diagnosis (Prompt Diagnosis And Treatment)
There are three types of antimalarial drugs available, Doxycycline, Malarone (generic and branded) and Lariam. During your consultation, a pharmacist will explain which antimalarial drugs are suitable for you and the main pros and cons of each type.
If you are planning on travelling, please book a consultation well in advance or visit our pharmacy so that you can receive the maximum projection from the drugs. Also, the pharmacist will give you advice on how to minimize your risk of mosquito bites and other appropriate precautions for your travel.
Contact us for further guidance surrounding malaria prevention, or visit us in store to get protected today!