Do I have malaria?
One of the biggest dangers when visiting tropical countries across the globe is the risk of malaria.
Malaria is spread through bites from infected mosquitoes, and symptoms can take as long as 15 days or longer to emerge. Early symptoms, such as fever, headaches, and chills may be mild at first and can easily be misdiagnosed. However, if left untreated, malaria can develop to be a very serious illness.
- High temperature (above 38c)
- Feeling hot and shivery
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pains
Later and Severe Symptoms
- Severe anaemia
- Respiratory distress
- Liver failure
- Pulmonary Oedema
- Kidney failure
(Source: NHS UK)
If you have any concerns about your health, or malaria related symptoms, seek the advice of a medical professional immediately.
Prevention is the best treatment
The most effective way to guard against malaria is to do everything possible to avoid being bitten. The WHO considers insecticide-treated mosquito nets as a vital method to preventing malaria, as of course are anti-malarial medicines for travelers.
However, anti-malarial medicines will not prevent bites. For this the best option is to use an insect repellent. The only repellents clinically proven to provide protection against insects, and specifically mosquitoes, are ones with at least 20-50% of the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin (also known as Icaridin), PMD oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.
Many confuse PMD (oil of lemon eucalyptus) with lemon oil, citronella (lemongrass oil) or ‘natural’ lemon so we would recommend a DEET rich insect repellant.
DEET has been described as the ‘gold standard’ of insect repellants. When used correctly, and as directed
Below are the insect repellants that we would highly recommend in areas where risk of mosquito bites are high: