It is essential for travellers visiting tropical, sub-tropical or developing countries to check whether malaria is present in any of the regions they will be visiting and to take adequate precautions against contracting the disease.
What is malaria?
Malaria is a dangerous and potentially fatal disease resulting from an infection of the blood. Transmitted via bites from the female Anopheles mosquito, a parasite called Plasmodium develops in the liver until it is released into the bloodstream where the parasites multiply in the red blood cells causing illness. Initial symptoms may include a fever, headaches, muscle pain or tenderness, coughing and diarrhoea.
Minimising the risk of malaria
As yet there is no vaccination against malaria but there are several ways in which travellers can protect themselves against the disease. Taking adequate precautions not only minimises the risk of contracting malaria but also other mosquito-transmitted diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis.
Dermacia Travel Clinic recommends that travellers to known malaria hotspots take following preventative measures to avoid being bitten:
- Minimise skin exposure, particularly after sunset when mosquitoes are at their most active, by wearing long-sleeved clothes and trousers.
- Apply an effective DEET-based insect repellent to both skin and to clothes.
- Spray rooms with insecticide, use a plug-in ‘vapourising’ mosquito repelling device or, if appropriate burn mosquito coils to kill any mosquitoes that may have entered.
- If possible, choose rooms that benefit from air-conditioning or a ceiling fan as mosquitoes are averse to lower night-time temperatures.
- If windows are unprotected by fine mesh it is advisable to sleep beneath a lightweight mosquito net that has been impregnated with an appropriate insecticide.
Although there is no malaria vaccine taking a course of antimalarial tablets can reduce your risk of infection by up to 90% and are an essential precaution when travelling to countries in which malaria is present.
There are commonly-administered types of antimalarial tablets: Doxycycline, Atovaquone plus Proguanil, Mefloquine (a.k.a. Larium) and Chloroquine plus Proguanil.
Each type of antimalarial tablet is effective in different circumstances and it is recommended that you seek advice from Dermacia Travel Clinic’s expert travel advisors to determine which antimalarial medication is the most appropriate for you.
We offer the convenience of a walk-in travel clinic which means that you can obtain malaria advice for your trip abroad at any time without the need for a prior appointment.
Similarly, antimalarial tablets can be obtained from our pharmacy at any time during our opening hours also without appointment.
You can find further useful information about malaria and its prevention at :
or call us on 020 7226 2780 or book an appointment online to arrange a quick appointment or obtain free travel advice.