Protect Against MalariaPosted on 28/09/2015 : 12:16:32
"Our travelers guide to avoiding Malaria. This guide has been put together for travelers visiting Countries where Malaria has known to be a problem. We hope to share with you the relevant information you need to help keep you safe from contracting the disease whilst on your travels. "
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease which involves infection of the liver and red blood cells. Malaria can be found in many tropical and subtropical countries and is spread by mosquitoes. If Malaria is not diagnosed and treated promptly then the effects can be fatal. Unfortunately, you cannot be vaccinated against Malaria but there are some precautions which can be used to help prevent the risk of infection.
Malaria Risk Areas
Malaria is a widespread disease and can be found in more than 100 countries and is mainly seen in tropical regions of the world, including:
- Large parts of Central & South America.
- South & South-East Asia
- Indian sub-contient, South East Asia, the Middle East and Oceania.
We have provided a map below to outline the areas in which Malaria can likely be contracted.
When travelling in areas where there is a high risk of catching Malaria, it is important to be aware of all the symptoms which may arise when contracting the disease.
Symptoms can include:
- Sweats & Chills
- High Temperature (Fever)
- Muscle Pains
Symptoms of Malaria usually appear between 7 & 18 days after becoming infected, in some cases it has been known for symptoms not to appear for up to a year, and/or occasionally even longer.
Cycles of fever, chills and sweating typically occur every 1-3 days. At the begging of infection Malaria may be difficult to distinguish from symptoms of flu. When infected the sufferers temperature may be constant or variable, a continuing high temperature is also known to be common. Humans which have contracted severe P.falicparum Malaria may also develop other problems such as bleeding, shock, kidney or liver failure and could also go as far as damaging the central nervous system, lead to a coma or even death!
When to seek medical help
It is important to seek medical help immediately if you develop any signs or symptoms of Malaria during or after a trip within a contractible area.
When seeking medical advice you are required to provide a blood sample in which a test will be carried out to confirm whether or not you are infected. Results of the blood test are usually given on the same day, if the blood test returns positive, expect treatment to begin immediately.
What causes Malaria
Malaria is caused by a type of parasite known as plasmodium. There are many different types of these parasites but only 5 can cause Malaria in humans.
The parasite is mainly spread by female Anopheles Mosquitoes which are known for predominately biting at night. When an infected mosquito bites a human it passes the parasites into the bloodstream causing the human to become infected.
It has also been known for Malaria to spread via the use of blood transfusions and the sharing of needles, but this is very rare.
What precautions should I take?
If you are planning on visiting a country where it's quite possible you could become subject to Malaria, then there are two ways in which you can reduce your chances of contracting the virus.
- Ask your GP / Doctor or practice nurse about preventative medicines.
- Take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
- Avoid exposure to mosquitoes particularly between early evening and early morning.
- Wear appropriate clothing, (e.g. long-sleeved shirts and trousers). It is also known that wearing light colour clothing can be a deterrent.
- Apply insect repellents to the skin.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed-net which also contains (permethrin insecticide) - You can buy one for cheap from our Travel Store.