What is Malaria?
Malaria is a life threatening disease spread by infected mosquitoes. It can be fatal if it isn’t diagnosed and treated promptly. When the mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream. One bite is enough to infect you with the disease.
What are the symptoms of malaria?
Symptoms normally develop within 10 days to 4 weeks after being infected. It is not uncommon to develop symptoms after several months. The parasite can stay dormant for long time.
Feeling hot and shivery
What causes malaria?
Malaria is caused by the parasite known as Plasmodium. There are 5 types of Plasmodium that can cause malaria. It is mainly spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes; they mainly bite at dusk and night. Once bitten, the parasites pass to the bloodstream. Malaria is transmitted by blood. It can be spread by blood transfusion, sharing needles, organ transfer. An infected mother can pass the disease to the baby at birth. You can also get malaria more than once.
Where is malaria found?
Malaria is mainly found in tropical and sub tropical regions. Including large areas of Africa and Asia, Central and South America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, parts of the Middle East also some of the Pacific Islands.
How to avoid getting malaria?
Malaria can be avoided if precautions are taken. Always check if the area you are travelling to is at risk of malaria. Try to avoid being bitten and use antimalarial tablets if required.
An easy way to remember is the ABCD approach to prevention:
Awareness of risk – find out whether you're at risk of getting malaria before travelling.
Bite prevention – avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering your arms and legs, and using an insecticide-treated mosquito net.
Check whether you need to take malaria prevention tablets – if you do, make sure you take the right antimalarial tablets at the right dose, and finish the course
Diagnosis – seek immediate medical advice if you develop malaria symptoms, as long as up to a year after you return from travelling.
Consult with a doctor, pharmacist or travel clinic to check if you need to take antimalarial tablets. If you they are normally taken a few days before your trip, during your trip and after you return.
Here at Best Health Clinics we provide travel consultations and have antimalarial tablets available to take home on the same day. Our trained staff can provide you with detailed information about the other types of vaccines or medicines you might need to the area you are travelling to.