MALARIA PREVENTION

Whether you are on Safari in Africa, island hopping through Indonesia or seeing Indias’ rural wonders, Malaria is a threat that should be taken seriously.

Malaria is a serious disease spread by mosquitoes, present in many tropical and subtropical countries.

There is no vaccination, but, malaria tablets are very effective in preventing malaria.

Check if you need malaria treatment here 

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Malarone (Atovaquone/Proguanil)

  • Take daily for 2 days prior to entering a malaria zone
  • Take a single tablet each day whilst in the high risk malaria zone
  • Take daily for 7 days after leaving malaria zone

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Most frequent questions and answers about malaria

Malaria is an infection caused by the parasite plasmodium. Malaria causes high temperature and flu-like symptoms, which can occur up to a year after travelling to an area with malaria. 

Prompt treatment for malaria is critical, as it can be a fatal infection.

There are four most common types of the parasite pladmodium that causes malaria infections:

  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Plasmodium ovale
  • Plasmodium malariae

 

The plasmodium parasite resides in mosquitos and is transferred to humans when an infected mosquito bites and feeds on a human.

Once in your blood stream, the parasite invades red blood cells, replicates and bursts to spread the infection. Each time the red blood cells burst you experience symptoms of high temperature and sweating.

Malaria is active in areas of Africa, South America and Asia.

Malaria Map

Image Source – IAMAT

Malaria infections often present the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting

More severe and long-term infected symptoms can include:

  • Behavioural changes
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Coma
  • Shock

Promptly diagnosed malaria can be treated and patients are able to make a full recovery.

The medication prescribed and duration of treatment varies from person to person.

Anti-malarial medicines consist of quinine, chloroquine, artesunate and atovaquone/proguanil.

There is an ABCD prevention scheme for malaria:

  • Awareness
  • Bite prevention
  • Chemoprophylaxis (taking antimalarial medication)
  • Diagnosis and treatment

Rapid diagnostic test or microscopy studies can be used to diagnose malaria. 

If you suspect that you have malaria, you should visit the nearest health worker/clinic or hospital for appropriate diagnosis.

Antimalarial medication is usually well tolerated; however, as with all medication, there are some side effects. 

Some common side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea

To reduce side effects, you should take the antimalarial tablets after meals.

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