Travel Tips – Preparing For Countries With Malaria

Health & Fitness by  Ariana Smith 19 April 2021

prevent malaria

Malaria is a potentially fatal tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It only takes a single mosquito bite to get infected and can be deadly if not detected and treated early. It may also be the basis of serious complications such as cerebral malaria and severe anemia.

There are several factors that can influence local transmission patterns. They can change quickly and may vary from one year to another. Some of these factors include geographical location, local weather conditions, infection prevalence, mosquito vector density, and your medical history. If you intend to travel to high-risk areas, it is crucial to know what the symptoms are.


Symptoms will most likely appear any time between seven to eighteen days after infection. However, the symptoms may not always be present and may remain suppressed even up to a year in some cases. These are the symptoms to look out for, the appearance of which you should seek medical advice.

  • Muscle pains
  • Feeling shivery and sweaty
  • Increased temperatures (38°C or higher)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

How To Prevent Infection Before & While Travelling

A good number of the cases are preventable. Before traveling, find out if you are at risk of contracting the disease. Here are some tips you can implement to safeguard yourself and your loved ones before traveling to avoid infection.

1: Clothes Treatment

Use permethrin (a synthetic mosquito repellent) spray to pre-treat your clothes before packing them in suitcases. This will help to repel mosquitoes and other insects for a couple of weeks. During this time, the preventive effect does not wear off even after laundering the clothes.

2: Avoid Mosquitoes

Effective ways of avoiding mosquitoes include using insect repellents on your skin, spraying your accommodation room with bug spray at dawn and dusk, and using insecticide-treated mosquito nets. According to an analysis conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa, bed netting decreases the prevalence of the disease by at least 50%.

Additionally, ensure the window screens aren’t damaged with holes, and the room is air-conditioned. Wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs will also offer protection from mosquito bites.

3: Beware Of False Immunity

Many people tend to think that having once lived in a malarial locality makes them immune. But this is not always true and should not be relied upon. You will still need to engage the same preventative methods as someone who never lived in a malaria-infested area.

4: Take Prevention Tablets

Please consult your physician on recommended chemoprophylaxis (antimalarial medication) as he takes you through the mild side effects that may occur. The suggested chemoprophylactic regimens include taking medicine before, during, and after traveling to the malaria-endemic area. It is important to begin the regimen before traveling in order for the antimalarial agent to reach the bloodstream before any exposure to parasites that carry malaria. The areas you are traveling to and your medical history will determine the type of medication you’ll be given.

5: Strictly Follow Your Dosage

For the antimalarial medication to be completely effective, it is vital to take the correct dose and complete it without fail. Failing to follow your dosage as prescribed may reduce the efficacy of the medication. In some cases, you may find taking the chemoprophylaxis with either a meal or with milk will lessen stomach discomfort.

6: See A Doctor

If you’ll be out of your home country for a long duration, it is advisable to see a physician regularly. Also, be vigilant of any symptoms that may present themselves and immediately seek medical advice. To find an adequate healthcare provider, you can inquire from the embassy or consulate, and they will advise you accordingly.

In Conclusion

Remember that it can sometimes take up to an entire year before the disease manifests in your body, so you’ll need to stay on the lookout for symptoms months after you return home. Any signs of fever or any of the other symptoms should have you see a doctor. Ensure to mention your travels.

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Ariana Smith

Ariana Smith is a freelancer content writer and enthusiastic blogger. She is a regular contributor at The Daily Notes.

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