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31 May 2014

With international flights becoming so commonplace for both business travellers and tourists we tend to forget that living conditions in those far-away countries can often be so different to anything that we encounter here in the UK. One particular risk that can often be overlooked is that of contracting malaria. Most of us know what malaria is and how it is spread by mosquitoes but too many of us still choose to ignore the vital precautions and instead just trust in the belief that "It can never happen to me". Malaria is a terrible, sometimes fatal disease that is common in Africa, South America and Southern Asia.

Malaria is a risk in over 100 countries, mostly in tropical regions of the world including big areas of Africa and Asia, Central and South America and odd bits of the South Pacific. It only takes a solitary mosquito bite for a person to be contaminated and in 2013 over 1,500 travellers were diagnosed with malaria here in the UK after visiting a malarial area, seven of these cases were sadly deadly. With these sort of statistics it's practically unbelievable that such a risk is taken, specifically when you know that you are visiting a region that is affected by malaria. The 2013 statistics show that out of 1,501 cases of malaria reported in the UK, 1,233 of those people had been visiting Africa. Furthermore, the largest percentage of those reported cases were people who had returned to visit family in their country of origin. For more in-depth knowledge on malaria visit Here

The value of taking safety measures against malaria, at the risk of sounding like your Mum, should really go without saying. It really is as easy as the choice between leaving your house through the front door or the upstairs bedroom window; basic good sense ought to prevail. Yet still, as a result of numerous mistaken beliefs, tourists do not take ample safety measures against malaria.

Travellers often overlook the threat that malaria presents, even when they are taking a trip to or via 'malarial hot-spots'. It is not unusual for a traveller from the UK to assume that the anti-malaria medications have numerous adverse effects and that they are simply going to be passing through a malarial hot-spot briefly. The actual reality is that the chances of contracting the condition are significantly increased for travellers from the UK who haven't built up any immunity to it and in fact no-side effect, expense consideration or trouble is worth the danger of contracting malaria.

In order to shield yourself from malaria whilst travelling it is important to follow the ABCD technique;.

A = Awareness:

Figure out if there is a risk of getting malaria prior to leaving on a trip. It is important to discover whether you will be taking a trip to or through a malaria affected area. Know where you plan to go and do some studying on the existence of malaria in the region that you intend to visit. Some countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia are clear of malaria in some locations, yet in various other areas malaria preventative measures are vital.

B = Bite Deterrence:

Take measures to stay away from mosquito bites by:

- Using insect repellent and re-apply often. The most effective repellents contain a high concentration of DEET.
- Keeping windows and doors closed in sleeping locations after dusk.
- Ideally lodging someplace with air conditioning and keeping it on in the evening, additionally resting under an insecticide treated mosquito net.

C = Check:

Taking anti-malaria pills will greatly lower the risk of getting malaria. It is important to learn which medicine is most efficient for you and if that medication is suited to the area you are travelling to.

Make certain that you comply with the directions supplied with the anti-malaria pills, take the proper amount, bear in mind that you need to begin taking them before you begin your trip and always finish the course.

There are 3 common choices of anti-malaria tablets available by prescription in the UK, your GP should suggest the best one for you, however see to it that you consult them at the very least 1 month before travelling. A further option is to visit a UK internet pharmacy. Some of these have doctors on their staff and they are permitted to sell prescription only malaria drugs to a customer who has answered a questionnaire asking where they are travelling to plus some questions about your state of health. You'll often find that the prices from the online pharmacies are cheaper than purchasing the identical items with a prescription from your local chemist.

D = Diagnosis:

If you have actually taken a trip to a malarial 'hot-spot' and consequently begin to develop signs of malaria, for example; a high temperature, throwing up or sweats and chills then you ought to find immediate medical guidance. Keep in mind that if the symptoms present themselves within seven days of arriving in a malarial region then it's not malaria considering that it takes a minimum of 7 days for malaria to appear following a bite from a malaria carrying mosquito.

Also bear in mind that malaria can lay undetected in the human body for up to twelve months, so even though you're safely back home in the UK you must seek urgent medical assistance should you begin to suffer any of the recognised symptoms inside a year of your return. Malaria could develop very rapidly following discovery of the earliest symptoms, so it's crucial if you think there is any chance that you might have gotten it, that it is diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Don't let malaria to ruin your trips, ensure that you research your location very carefully before travelling and take required preventative measures. Know Before You Go.


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