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Malaria: How To Identify & How To Treat It While Travelling

EMA Global - July 4, 2019 - 0 comments

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that infects the blood through parasitic micro-organisms carried by the Anopheles mosquito. The condition is most commonly transmitted by mosquito bites when travellers explore countries that are in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.

As one of the world’s most life-threatening diseases, travellers are often advised to have Malaria pills ready during their trips and to take them before visiting a country that may have heightened potential of contracting the disease such as countries in Central America or Southeast Asia.

The Symptoms of Malaria

Travellers who think they may have contracted Malaria should visit a doctor immediately and inform them of the symptoms that they are exhibiting. Malaria symptoms fall into two categories: uncomplicated symptoms and severe symptoms.

Uncomplicated Symptoms

Uncomplicated symptoms are when the common and obvious signs that are not suggestive of extreme infection or organ dysfunction. Uncomplicated symptoms can also become full-blown Malaria if the patient has a poor immune system. Typical uncomplicated symptoms are:

– shivering with sensations of coldness

– intermittent sweating coupled with exhaustion

– headaches, nausea, and fevers

– seizures, especially for children or young adults

Severe Symptoms

In severe Malaria cases, the symptoms usually display organ dysfunction and damage. Symptoms include:

– experiencing chills and high fevers

– slipping in and out of consciousness

– the tendency to go into the prone position

– convulsions

– respiratory issues

– signs of anaemia

– jaundice and proof of organ dysfunction

Treatment of Malaria

The symptoms of Malaria are evident in many other common illnesses, so it is highly important that travellers who exhibit the symptoms above be checked out by doctors to get an accurate diagnosis. Malaria can be treated and cured effectively if it is treated early.

Travellers who exhibit the symptoms are usually administered antimalarials according to the type of parasite and the severity of the symptoms. It is essential that the diagnosis is accurate to determine the right course of treatment.

Prevention of Malaria for Travellers

While you may not wish to be restricted in your travel destinations, it’s important to note that travelling to many countries can increase the potential of you contracting Malaria. Certain precautions you should take for the country you are visiting are:

– researching the level of risk of Malaria in the region or country

– finding out the medications available for prevention and treatment of Malaria

– getting antimalarial drugs before departing for your trip to avoid purchasing counterfeited medication overseas

– find out the varying risk levels for different age groups, especially for members of your travelling party

– access to common tools for preventing mosquito bites such as bed nets, insect repellants, and protective clothing

– memorise the symptoms of malaria

In addition, travellers should know how to contact the relevant medical authorities for emergency treatments or medical evacuations, in case the area where they travel to does not have immediate Malaria treatments.