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.

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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