Malaria is considered a serious illness because of its likelihood of being life-threatening. Due to the increasing number of travellers in the UK and worldwide, everyone is urged to be aware of potential risks, preventive methods, and means of treatment.
If you are planning a trip to a country where malaria is endemic, consult a reputable travel clinic in Carshalton, such as Anna Pharmacy, that can advise you on steps to stay protected during your travel.
Malaria prevention can be summed up by the ABCD method as follows:
Assessment of awareness of the risk of Malaria
You need to be vigilant of your travels. If you are visiting a country where Malaria is present, you are automatically at risk of catching it. Keep in mind the following factors when assessing your situation.
Factors that increase your chances of getting Malaria
• Planning a long stay in rural areas with Malaria
• Engaging in more outdoor activities in Malaria affected locations
People who are at risk of developing server Malaria
• Babies and children
• Pregnant women
• Older people
• People who have compromised immune systems or have chronic diseases
If you fall in any of these categories, your doctor can advise on extra precautions you can take.
Since Malaria is contracted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito that normally bites after sunset, guarding yourself against mosquito bites is therefore essential. Bite prevention methods include:
• Wearing protective clothing
• Using insect repellents
• Using mosquito nets
• Reducing mosquitos in your accommodations through air conditioning, screens or insecticide products.
Chemoprophylaxis is a malaria prevention tablet. Although antimalarial tablets do not ward off or stop parasites from entering your body, they can help inhibit severe infection and prevent symptoms from worsening. Antimalarial tablets may be recommended to travellers from high-risk groups or for people visiting high-risk areas.
Typically, antimalarial tablets are administered a few days before your travel to ensure enough medication in your system before your exposure to infection. The whole course of antimalarial medication must be completed even upon leaving the Malaria location.
Immediate diagnosis of possible Malaria is crucial, so prompt treatment can be given since severe cases of Malaria can be life-threatening within 24 hours.
Early symptoms of Malaria are similar to the flu, which include fever, chills, headache, muscle or joint aches, and tiredness. Diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting may also accompany other symptoms.
Malaria can even develop months after your travel to endemic areas. If you suspect being infected by Malaria or when in doubt, seek your doctor’s advice.