Malaria is still one of the most prevalent diseases in the world today. Its seriousness as a global threat is underlined by the fact that one child loses their life to the illness every two minutes.

Last year alone, over 200 million cases of malaria were reported across 87 countries, with nearly half a million of those infected eventually succumbing to the disease. But what exactly is malaria? How can you contract it? And what can be done to protect yourself when booking a trip to area of the world that deals with the illness on a daily basis? 

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a serious tropical disease which is spread through parasites, namely mosquitos. It only takes one bite from a mosquito carrying the disease for someone to become infected. If not treated within 24 hours, malaria can lead to serious illness, and in many cases, death.

Whilst it’s not found in the UK, over 100 countries worldwide have reported cases of malaria. Over 90% of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, however there are many other regions known to have reported cases of malaria including:

  • Central and Southern America
  • Haiti and the Dominican Republic
  • Parts of the Middle East
  • Some Pacific Islands

It is estimated that almost half the world’s population is at risk of contracting malaria; such is its prevalence.

Symptoms and Treatment of Malaria

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the symptoms of malaria before booking flights to a destination where there’s a high risk of contracting it, because a quick diagnosis can be the difference between life and death.

The main symptoms are:

  • High temperature
  • Feeling hot
  • Shivering
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhoea

Some of these can be difficult to recognise as malaria, so you need to be extra vigilant when suffering from an illness in a high-risk area. These symptoms usually appear between 7 and 18 days after being bitten, but it’s not unusual for the incubation period to last much longer, making accurate diagnoses even trickier.

Malaria is normally treated with antimalarial medication, which is also used to prevent the disease. The specific type of medication you take will depend on an array of factors such as: where you caught malaria, which strain of the disease it is, how severe your symptoms are, and whether you’re pregnant or not.     

If malaria is diagnosed and treated properly, the vast majority of patients will make a full recovery. But by far the best defence is to take anti-malarial medication, which should prevent you from catching it in the first place.  

Receive Antimalarial Medication Direct to Your Door

It is good for your health to take a break. If you are planning to travel to a sub-Saharan destination or another location known to present a malaria risk, it’s important to get organised with your travel health. You may be backpacking, cruising, or perhaps taking a city break with friends, you need to be aware to help you stay healthy. Once you have booked you holiday find out what to do next. Having the right travel vaccines and medication (particularly for malaria) before you embark on your trip can literally save your life.

Check what travel vaccine you require before your trip so that you can stay healthy on holiday. All you need to do is enter your holiday destination and your dates of travel to receive details of which jabs such as yellow fever, you may need and when you need to take them by in order to minimise the risk of infection whilst abroad.

In the near future, if you require malaria medication you will simply be able to fill in the online form. We can then arrange for your medication to be delivered direct to your door, minimising any hassle.

So what are you waiting for? Try our industry-leading travel health tool today.

You may also be interested in these blogs: 5 tips for travelling on the cheap, Travel survival tips for airports and flights.

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