Malaria is a disease that can cause the infected to suffer with flu-like symptoms and high fevers. If the infected person doesn’t receive prompt treatment, then the disease may cause seizures and the failure of organs which can result in death. A person catches malaria when a mosquito feeds on them after it’s been infected by a parasite.
There are ways to reduce the risk of catching malaria, such as fully covering up your body during times when mosquitoes are known to commonly bite, which is usually at night, or at dawn and dusk. Additionally, you should use mosquito repellents, insect repellent room sprays, and mosquito nets.
As well as taking the above steps, you should also ensure that you receive malaria prevention medication prior to you travelling to a country where malaria is common. There are different types of malaria prevention drugs; a medical professional will choose the right medication for you, according to where you’re travelling to, and taking into account any existing medication that you’re on.
If you’re planning on travelling to an area where malaria is present, then you may want to find out a little more about malaria travel vaccines. Below, we have summarised a few of the key points to consider.
If you are travelling to areas where malaria is common, for example, Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands, you will need a form of malaria protection, such as malaria prevention tablets. Certain people have an increased risk of catching malaria, including pregnant women, children, or those who are generally weaker, such as old people. If you fall under any of these categories, then a malaria vaccine will be particularly important if you’re considering travelling to one of the above countries.
To receive a malaria vaccine, an anti-malaria tablet prescription is required. The malaria prevention tablets cannot be bought over the counter. With this in mind, be sure to get advice from a medical professional at least four to six weeks before you’re due to travel to a country where malaria is commonly found.
There are some side effects which may occur after receiving malaria prevention medication, including abdominal pain, sickness, headache, muscle weakness, dizziness and loss of appetite. Seek advice from a medical professional if these symptoms persist. Please note that you can continue to breastfeed while taking malaria prevention tablets; however, you’ll need to check the weight of your baby, and then share this with a medical professional so that they can ensure the medication they prescribe is appropriate. Also, your baby will need to be treated separately with regards to receiving malaria prevention medication.
Depending on the malaria prevention medication you are prescribed, you’ll usually have to start taking them a few weeks before you’re due to travel. Then, you will have to continue the course of medication until it is finished, which, generally, will be for a few weeks after you’ve returned to the UK.
Now that you’ve read the above facts, we hope that you understand a little more about malaria as well as the importance of receiving malaria tablets before travelling to certain areas of the world. We advise you to always do your research to ensure you know which countries require you to receive certain vaccinations before entering.
If you’ll soon be travelling to a country where malaria is common, then book your malaria vaccine appointment today, or take a look at our branches to find out where you can get a malaria vaccine local to you.