Malaria is predominantly a tropical and subtropical disease, it poses a significant risk to UK travellers going abroad.

There are medications that can be taken to prevent malaria whilst travelling to high risk areas (prophylactic medications) such as Malarone. To assess your suitability, start your free online consultation by clicking the product you would like to purchase.

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What is malaria?

Malaria can be a life-threatening illness that is found predominately in tropical and subtropical countries. The parasite known as plasmodium is transmitted by mosquitos.

A person can contract malaria when they are bitten by the parasite laden mosquito.

Once in your blood stream it rapidly multiples. Its effect may become apparent within a few days.

However, in some patients and depending on the parasite involved there can be a latency period and symptoms only start showing many weeks after contracting the parasite.

What causes malaria?

Malaria is caused by the parasite 'plasmodium', this is a single-celled organism that is transmitted to humans from the anopheles mosquito when it bites human skin.

There are numerous plasmodium parasites that have been identified by microbiologists, out of these only five are thought to infect humans.

What are the symptoms of malaria?

Incubation period after the initial bite varies on the strain of plasmodium, it ranges from 9 days to 40days.

The first phase is a ‘flu-like; symptoms: fever, lethargy, generalised muscle aches.

The parasite begins invading red blood cells and destroying them. This causes the more severe fevers, rigors, chills, fatigue, abdominal cramps.

Because of the loss of red blood cells, malaria can also lead to jaundice and anaemia. Certain cases have also reported back pain and an enlarged spleen.

Less likely symptoms are kidney failure, seizures, reduced mental capacity and coma.

Tackling malaria

Prevention, prevention, prevention.  

Barriers: Repellent creams-contain DEET (diethyltoluamide).

Sunscreens that can prevent against insect bites Mosquito nets treated with insecticide  

Prophylactic medication: Prescribed medication to prevent malaria  

How do the tablets work?

Malaria tablets work by preventing the multiplication of the plasmodium parasite. This gives your body a chance to then fight the parasite.  

It is important to note that all anti-malarial medications need to be started before you leave for your holiday and often for a short period of time after returning.

What malaria treatments are available?

AccessDoctor offer effective antimalarial treatments to suit your needs including Malarone and Doxycycline.

If you require additional help feel free to contact us for further information.

Further information can also be found in the NHS website.