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Must-know Malaria - Are Your People Properly Protected?

2 September 2017

Must-know Malaria - Are Your People Properly Protected?

Malaria is a serious and potentially life threatening febrile illness caused by infection with the parasite Plasmodium. If your people are travelling to one of these high-risk areas, what should you advise them?

  1. Malaria is a mosquito-borne infection disease, which causes fever, headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be fatal.
  2. The disease is spread by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, which introduces the parasite Plasmodium into the human bloodstream.
  3. There are five species of plasmodium that infect humans.
  4. Antimalarial drugs and avoiding exposure by wearing full clothing that covers skin - particularly at night when mosquitoes feed - is the recommended protection.
  5. Antimalarial drugs reduce the risk of infection by 90%. They are not wholly effective.
  6. Each of the five different Plasmodium parasites requires different antimalarials for protection, so it's vital a GP knows exactly where the traveller is going.
  7. Around 1,500 people in the UK get malaria each year - all are cases imported from overseas travel.
  8. In 2015, 65% of all UK malaria cases originated in West Africa.
  9. In UK reported cases, twice as many men over the age of 30 get infected as women of the same age.
  10. If an antimalarial drug has been taken to prevent malaria, the same one cannot be used to treat it.
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