How To Avoid Going Mad With Malaria

Malaria is a serious illness spread by infected mosquitoes in; Africa, Asia, Central/South America, Haiti, Dominican Republic, the Middle East and some Pacific islands. Malaria has been eradicated in the UK.  When organising a trip to any of the Malaria, ‘hotspots’,  you should undertake a course of Malaria medication and use mosquito repellent to avoid malaria contraction.

If you don’t take precautions you can become very ill and in some cases you may suffer brain damage or fall into a coma.  There are two types of Malaria.

Severe Anaemia

This is when your red blood cells are unable to carry sufficient oxygen around the body causing the sufferer to be drowsy and weak all over.

Cerebral Malaria

As the name suggests this rare version of Malaria is very serious.  In this version the small blood vessels to the brain become blocked, preventing blood from circulating around the brain.  This can cause; seizures, brain damage and in the worst cases a coma.

Preparing For Your Adventure

First of all check to see if your holiday destination is in a Malaria hotspot.  If so you will have to arrange your Malaria treatment to start before you leave, while you are away and for up to four weeks when you get back.  You will also have to stock up on insect repellent  so that the mosquitoes are deterred from biting you.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

When you arrive at your destination there are precautions you can make to reduce your chances of being bitten.  These include:-

Stay somewhere with air conditioning, so you can close the doors and windows.

In a room without air conditioning make sure that you have an intact mosquito net that can cover you while you are sleeping.

Cover yourself in insect repellent (DEET) and reapply it frequently, don’t worry about the smell because everyone will smell the same.

Particularly in the evening, wear loose fitting clothes with long legs and sleeves.  This will prevent the mosquito getting trapped in your clothing.

When You Come Home

Malaria symptoms can take up to 17 days to show and some people don’t get symptoms for up to a year after going on holiday.  If you do suffer any of the symptoms below you must go to your doctor straight away.

Flu-like symptoms.
A high temperature.
Headache.
Sweats.
Chills.
Vomiting.
Muscle pains.
Diarrhoea.
Generally feeling unwell.

As you can gather Malaria is a very serious illness. The best thing to do is to avoid malaria!

If you have any doubts or would like the treatment for Malaria to be explained please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor, and take a look at our full range of Malaria Treatments

By Parv Sagoo (July 2018)