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How to prevent malaria.

Updated on December 15, 2010

Mosquitoes as carriers of infectious diseases.

Adult Mosquito feeding on human skin. Mosquitoes can spread, apart from malaria, other, many different species of mosquitoes carry many infectious diseases such as Nile fever,yellow fever, viral encephalitis and dengue fever.
Adult Mosquito feeding on human skin. Mosquitoes can spread, apart from malaria, other, many different species of mosquitoes carry many infectious diseases such as Nile fever,yellow fever, viral encephalitis and dengue fever. | Source

How to prevent malaria while on travel to Africa,Asia and South America.

Malaria is a deadly killer in the tropics. Every year hundreds of thousands of children die from Malaria. Most of the children die in the poor villages found in the remote parts of Africa,Asia and South America.Adults too do die from this menace.

It all starts with a bite from a parasite-infected female anopheles mosquito which injects the malaria causing bug into the blood stream of its victim while sucking blood.

To prevent the malaria disease from spreading one could suggest killing the mosquitoes. However,it is almost impossible to eliminate these little flying insects in those poor and remote regions of the world completely. The mosquito breeding grounds have been targeted before but it is not possible to eradicate them all. They breed in swamps, stagnant waters, wooded and grasslands. The larvae grows in water and disrupting the life cycle of the mosquitoes is one sure way but not complete way to control spread of malaria.

Visitors to these countries must be prepared to prevent themselves from contracting this deadly disease.

Many travel companies and organisations do warn against malaria when travelling to these countries for vacations or holidays. These organisations offer helpful tips on the best possible ways to protect oneself against these mosquito attacks.

Tips on how to protect against catching malaria include;

  1. Before travel, talk to your medic to provide you with a prescription for anti-malarial drugs.This has to be done early enough as part of preparation to travel. The common drugs prescribed by doctors for malaria prevention are Mefloquine or a combination of atavaquone with proguanil. The commonest dose regime for mefloquine is to be taken weekly starting from two weeks before entering the malarial endemic area and continued four weeks after returning from malaria endemic zones. Unlike the mefloquine,the combination drug is taken daily at the same time. Be sure to carry enough doses for the stay in the malaria endemic area and any contigencies.
  2. In addition to the anti-malarial medications, please, carry mosquito repellants that you will need to rub on or spray on exposed body areas to keep off the mosquitoes and discourage them from biting. Products containing the bug repellant- DEET, have been used before and are still effective as mosquito repellents in addition to other insects.Products with 30% or more of DEET applied not more often than every six hours are recommended for adults and children older than12 years.For children between 2 and 12 years old,apply to exposed body areas every eight hours and use products containing not more than 10% DEET. For infants, no recommendation for Deet products has been made. Therefore,use barriers like mosquito nets and appropriate clothing to protect them from mosquito bites.
  3. Bring with you protective gear such as clothes, hats, and boots that cover most of the body to minimise exposure of the body especially when out in the open while at the malaria infested areas.
  4. When sleeping while camping and at the lodges, enforce use of mosquito nets preferrably those treated with mosquito repellants. Always make sure you sleep under the mosquito bed-nets.
  5. Do not leave the room doors and windows open at night when sleeping.All entrances and any opennings should be sealed to reduce the numbers of mosquitoes entering the rooms when asleep.
  6. Make sure the lawns sorrounding the lodges,hotels and camps are well kept to get rid of any unwanted bushes, tall grasses and no pools of stagnant water should be left unattended to beacuse these places are the breeding grounds for the deadly mosquitoes.
  7. If bitten by mosquitoes seek immediate advise from your doctor or go to the nearest medical facilty for professional opinion and check up.Early treatment may be instituted or just keep an eye on any early warnings of signs and symptoms of malaria.Guidance on how to protect yourself well from mosquitoes is readily available in these facilities.
  8. Finally, it is always important to register your presence in any foreign country at your local consulate or embassy. These local emabassies also have lots of information on the disease patterns in those countries and one may find helpful tips on how to best protect oneself and enjoy your vacation,holiday or travel.In case of an emergency,the consulates can become very handy as sources of help for their citizens.

As a rule of thumb,if in any doubt always consult the experts. In this case,your medical professional person.

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