How to survive killer malaria destinations

Christine Waverly

Travelling a little farther than you have originally planned might require you to be safer health-wise. There are many vaccines that your country's health department recommends before you get somewhere else. One to combat malaria is the most common especially for people travelling to destinations such as South America and South east Asia.

Malaria is often transmitted to humans through a bite by an infected mosquito, particularly the female Anopheles mosquito, known as a dusk-to-dawn biter. The infection is also transmitted through blood transfusion with an infected blood, or with a shared needle. A mother could also pass the infection to her unborn child.

Malaria is considered an endemic or constantly present throughout the sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, Oceania, Haiti, Central and South America, some parts of Dominican Republic, Mexico, and North Africa. Within these areas, malaria cases can increase significantly depending on the epidemic level. The thing is that, most of the wonderful and new resorts are often prone to malaria.

Here are four tips on how to prevent malaria during travel:

1. Get vaccinated before travelling to endemic areas. Antimalarial drugs are only prescribed; consult your health provider so you could get your vaccine base on your travel itinerary and medical history. Common antimalarial drugs include atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline and mefloquine.

2. Avoid mosquito bites. Malaria is always transmitted between dusk and dawn. Take precautions like staying inside as much as possible during those times. If staying outdoor, make sure that you wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants and even a hat. Always apply insect repellent to the exposed skin.

3. If you get sick during the travel, consult a medical professional immediately. Malaria can be very fatal. If you develop a fever or flu-like and professional help is impossible within 24 hours, take some self-treatment drugs. However, you still have to get to the doctor as soon as possible.

4. Travelling with kids to malaria-risk places. Get your children vaccinated four to six weeks before the travel. Each age has a specific dosage, so take time to let the pharmacy fill your children's prescription.

Take note that the symptoms of such an illness are non-specific. It requires a blood test to have an accurate diagnosis. When travellers with a fever are coming from a luxurious destination or not (within three months from their departure), they are considered a medical emergency. They should be investigated as soon as possible. Hence, the tests have to be repeated within 12 to 24 hours if the symptoms persist.

* source: Grandeur Living