We are a website dedicated to keep the readers informed about the medicines used in the treatment and prevention of malaria and also how to buy them online safely in UK with a simple online consultation. You will also find all the informed and verified facts about malaria that you need to understand.
Malaria is largely a tropical disease that is caused when a mosquito that is afflicted with plasmodia(a kind of parasite) bites a human. Malaria is very easily passed on to humans from mosquitoes. Even a single bite from an infected mosquito can cause malaria. One has to be especially careful while visiting tropical or exotic foreign places it is better to be safe than sorry, so if you are planning a trip abroad, it may be a good idea to have a dose of anti malaria tablets. The same medicines that are used as anti-malarials to prevent the disease is also used to treat them.
There are 5 main types of anti-malarial tablets. They are:
- Chloroquine (Avloclor)
- Proguanil (Paludrine)
- Mefloquine (Lariam)
- Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone)
What You Should Know About Malaria Tablets
Based on the region you visit, a particular type of antimalaria tablets may be more effective than others. Also based on the type of tablets, some may need to be taken daily or weekly, some may need to be taken 2 weeks prior to travel, whilst others need to be only taken a few days before travel. Currently malarone is widely considered to be the most effective malaria tablet.
Malaria in UK
Close to 2,000 people in UK return from foreign trips with malaria each year. Most of the reported cases are that of the type falciparum parasite that is considered to be the most deadly. Unfortunately, even today, majority of people who travel abroad do not consider anti malaria tablets. It is only sensible to get on a dose of antimalarials if one is travelling to the malria-risk zones
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 300 million cases are reported each year and close to a million deaths occur due to the disease. Africa is reportedly the most susceptible place. Children are particularly at risk. It is said that one child dies of malaria every 30 seconds which is an astounding figure. Malaria is no joke and one should take full precaution.
Is malaria dangerous for British Travellers?
Yes, it is. Britishers can be very susceptible to malaria, especially when they visit Asia and Africa. Infact every year 0.5% of Britishers who contract malaria after a foreign trip succumb to the disease and a large percentage of people suffer through the treatment phase.
How can I protect myself from malaria?
Avoid getting bitten, seems like a simple answer, but it is easier said than done, especially if you are travelling to places infected with mosquitoes. Take adequate precaution and also arm yourself with anti-malarial tablets.
Which places are more susceptible to malaria?
Africa, Asia, South and Central America are the main areas where there is a real danger of contracting the disease, but you can also catch it in some parts of Europe.
I am making a trip during the dry season. Is it safe? Mosquitoes are more active during the wet season, so the dry season is relatively safer, but remember, it only takes one bite. So no season is absolutely safe.
I am from Africa, although I live here. I am making a trip to Africa. Am I not immune because I belong to Africa?
It is true that people belonging to Africa and Asia may have some form of partial immunity to the disease, but they are not fully immune. If Africans were fully immune, that would not be a place where 70% of cases are reported. Even otherwise, the partialimmunity that native Africans may have developed wears away once they settle abroad and spend considerable time out.
What happens once you are infected?
Once the malaria parasites enter your bloodstream, they often incubate in the liver where they can stay dormant for weeks and months together after which they spread and multiply. Once they reach bigger numbers, they leave the liver and invade the red blood cells and later go on the overdrive and multiply faster by which time they damage the red blood cells and the infected person starts experiencing symptoms like fever, shivering, headaches and muscle pain often accompanied by cough and diarrhoea.
How To Protect Yourself From Malaria
If you are travelling, always opt for anti-malarial tablets to protect yourself. Recommendations may vary depending on the country you visit as some strains are resistant to older medicines. You can opt for a simple online consultation at doctorfox.co.uk and get the correct medicines quick and easy. This should ideally be your first step if you are travelling to the so called malarious zones.
The next thing to do once you reach the foreign place is to take adequate precautions to avoid getting bitten. Use insect repellents and mosquito net during your stay. It is also advised to spray a little bit of permethrin(insecticide) on the mosquito net before sleeping. Keep your limbs covered when you are outdoors between dusk and dawn.
Even after you return home after a visit to a malaria rick zone, it is important to complete the dose of antimalarials.
Types of Malaria
Malaria is classified by the type of plasmodium bacteria that causes it. The four types of malaria are discussed below.
Plasmodium Vivax: Also known as P.V, it is known to affect the largest geographical distribution and forms about 20% of all malaria cases. It’s prevalent in South and Central America and South East Asia. More than 50% of Malaria infections in India are of this type. It is the mildest strain of malaria and usually not dangerous, it is known to stay in the system by incubating in the liver without showing symptoms for upto 8-10 months sometimes.
Plasmodium Malariae: Also known as P.M, it has occurrence in Africa, South East Asia, South America and Central America. It is one of the milder strains of malaria that is not very common and is usually not considered life threatening. This is one strain that is known to cause malaria in dogs.
Plasmodium Ovale: It is the rarest strain of malaria and restricted to “West Africa for the most part. The plasmodium ovale parasite is known to be dormant upto 4 years in some cases during which the patient may not exhibit any symptoms.
Plasmodium Falciparum: The most dangerous strain of malaria and unfortunately the most common strain too. It is prevalent in South and Central America but the majority of cases are found in Africa and South East Asia with Africa taking the brunt of the affliction with an estimated 70% of cases originating from that region.
Symptoms of Malaria
Malaria symptoms begin to show usually after 2 weeks of exposure to the parasite although it may be delayed further depending on the dormant or incubation period of the parasite. Some strains show symptoms only after a year but when they do, it can get quite serious. Malaria symptoms are a lot like flu to start with but the repercussions can be quite severe. Excessive sweating, shivering, high fever, diarrhoea, muscle pains and headaches are the common symptoms of the disease. Fever occurs in 48 hour cycles usually with intermittent shivering.
Malaria diagnosis is pretty simple and the disease itself is easily diagnosed. If you feel you may be infected or start showing symptoms, you can visit your local hospital and have a blood test done. The test can detect the presence of malaria parasites in your blood and can also conclusively detect the type of parasite you are dealing with.
If left untreated, falciparum malaria can be devastating and can affect the nervous system and the brain to cause what is called cerebral malaria that can cause paralysis and death. Severe cases of malaria can transgress into blackwater fever. In such cases copious amounts of red blood corpuscles are destroyed, so much that haemoglobin is excreted in the urine.