What is Malaria?

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. Those infected with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. If malaria is left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die.

schedule-an-appointmentEvery year, millions of US residents travel to countries where malaria is present. About 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States annually, mostly in returned travelers.

Travelers to sub-Saharan Africa have the greatest risk of both getting malaria and dying from their infection. However, all travelers to countries where malaria is present may be at risk for infection.

Malaria Prevention

Prevention of malaria involves a balance between ensuring that all people who will be at risk of infection use the appropriate prevention measures, while preventing adverse effects of those interventions among people using them unnecessarily. International Travel Care will complete an individual risk assessment, taking into account not only the destination country, but also the detailed itinerary, including specific cities, types of accommodation, season, and style of travel. In addition, the presence of anti-malarial drug resistance during an itinerary may modify the risk assessment.

Based on the risk assessment, specific malaria prevention interventions should be used by the traveler. Also, currently no anti-malarial drug guarantees to be 100% effective against malaria. Therefore it is important to note that prevention of malaria includes taking anti-malarial medication as directed, in conjunction with other protective measures.  Often this includes avoiding mosquito bites through the use of repellents or insecticide treated bed nets, and specific medicines to prevent malaria.

In some countries , anti-malarial drugs may be sold that are counterfeit or substandard (not made according to United States standards). Such drugs may not be effective. Anti-malarial drugs should always be purchased before traveling outside of the United States.

If you have traveled to a malaria-risk area, remember fever or flu-like symptoms are always considered Malaria unless proven otherwise!

The interventions used to prevent malaria can be very effective when used properly, but none of them are 100% effective. Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after returning home (for up to 1 year) should seek immediate medical attention and should talk to their physician about their travel history. (Resource CDC)

International Travel Care will assess thoroughly your health history, itinerary, along with style of travel and match anti-malaria recommendations accordingly.

Schedule a Convenient Appointment

Contact us either by our online appointment scheduling form or call 952-405-8812 to set up an appointment today. Appointments are available early or late in the day, as well as same day appointments at our convenient Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul), Minnesota location.