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29 November 2007

Be malaria safe this holiday

Malaria is one of the most serious tropical diseases and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

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Malaria is one of the most serious tropical diseases and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

Prevention is better than cure

  • Find out whether there is a risk of getting malaria at your holiday destination. The risk is lower during the cold and dry seasons.
  • Take precautionary measures to prevent mosquito bites in all risk areas. If recommended, take appropriate medication as directed.
  • There is no prophylaxis that is 100 percent effective, but the correct medicine will reduce your risk of severe illness.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have any “flu-like” symptoms for up to 6 months after leaving a malaria area.

Measures to avoid mosquito bites

  • If possible, remain indoors between dusk and dawn (mosquitoes carrying malaria bite at night).
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing, long trousers and socks when going out at night.
  • Apply an insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin at night.
  • Sleep under a mosquito-proof bed-net, preferably one that has been treated with an approved insecticide.
  • Spray inside with an insecticide spray, after closing windows and doors.

Take your medicines correctly

  • Take only the medicines that have been proven to be effective for preventing malaria (mefloquine, doxycycline or atovaquone-proguanil) as recommended by a health professional.
  • Start taking your medication before entering the malaria risk area.
  • Take the medicine at the same time every day (or week, for weekly medication) with plenty of water, after a meal.
  • Continue while in the malaria area and for 4 weeks after leaving the area (unless you are taking atovaquone-proguanil, in which case, take it for 7 days after leaving the area).

Early symptoms of malaria

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscular pain

Seek medical attention if you have any of the above symptoms.

Read more:
Preventing malaria
Malaria Centre

Information supplied by AMAYEZA

November 2007

 
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