In the tropics Malaria is a death causing epedemic. Each year hundreds of thousands of children and adults lose their life to this illness. The majority of these deaths occur in low income villages located in the remote areas of Asia, South America and Africa.
Malaria is contracted following a bite from a female anopheles mosquito which has become infected with the malaria parasite. The parasite infiltrates the blood of the victim as the mosquito sucks his or her blood.
Mosquitos are impossible to completely eradicate, so there is no way to completely control the spread of malaria, in fact individuals must simply take precautions in an attempt to prevent cotnraction.
When visiting a foreign country it is smart to make attempts to protect yourself from the deadly disease.
Methods for protecting yourself from Malaria include;
1. Speak with a doctor regarding obtaining a prescription for anti-malarial drugs. This should be one of the initial stages of travel preparation. Most doctors tend to prescribe atavaquone with proguanil or Mefloquine. These drugs are usually take a week or two prior to travel.
2. Make sure and travel with protective clothing: hats, boots, and clothes which cover the majority of the body it is recommended to use light colored clothing.
3. Travel with mosquito repellents containing DEET. A treated mosquito net is incredibly important. Nets soaked in DEET work to create a barrier in one’s sleep. Mosquitos are most prone to biting at night.
4. Close windows and doors when sleeping if possible.
5. Register your presence in a foreign country with the consulate or embassy (this is always important) and local embassy’s can let you know about issues with diesase paterns and precautions you should take.
Always talk to your doctor for the best advice for travel and avoiding malaria.