There are many vaccinations that will boost your system before you go travelling. Unfortunately there’s one serious disease that doesn’t yet have one – and that’s malaria.
Malaria is usually found in tropical regions around the globe and is prevalent in large parts of Asia and Africa. It only takes a single bite from a female mosquito which can affect you with this potentially fatal disease.
Symptoms of Malaria
The initial symptoms of malaria often include:
•Fever/ High temperature
•Hot and cold sweats
Symptoms can develop between 7 to 18 days depending on the type of parasitic infection – worser cases lead to more frequent cycles of symptoms. The most serious parasites which develop quickly can develop into more life threatening conditions which need urgent medical assistance. However in some cases it can take up to a year for any symptoms to develop.
If there is a possibility that you have contracted malaria, a blood test will be carried to confirm if the infection is present.
Whilst the risk of malaria cannot be eliminated, there are several prevention tips recommended by our travel nurse:
•Risk awareness – before travelling it is ideal to find if there is a risk of getting malaria
•Use an insect repellant containing DEET – speak to a Pharmacist/Doctor so they can recommend which strength is suitable
•Buy an insecticide – treated mosquito net
•Particularly at night cover arms and legs
•Malaria tablets – speak to a GP to find out what type of pills are suitable (as it depends on how long you’re travelling for)
Which Malaria tablets are we using?
As we are travelling long-term we were advised by our Travel Nurse to take doxycycline as they are cheaper to buy in bulk and are available to buy in Asia. After a quick search on the internet we found Tesco’s Pharmacy had the cheapest doxycycline pills. We paid £50 for 300 pills (150 pills per person) which was a good deal at the time.
Please note the information in this post is served as a guide only – always consult a GP or Travel Nurse for more information about malaria. It’s also worth checking out the NHS website and Fit For Travel for further advice.