North East Travel Clinic offers advice on malaria prophylaxis and will guide you as to wether or not malaria is a potential issue in your chosen destination.
Malaria is a an illness that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a severe illness so early diagnosis and treatment is important. It can be avoided through bite avoidance measures and taking anti-malarial medications.
Most symptoms of malaria develop within the first 3 months of having been bitten but can present as late as up to 1 year, sometimes even longer. The most common symptoms are fever and headache, as well as muscle aches, abdominal pains and sometimes diarrhoea and a cough. Some forms of malaria can have quite severe complications effecting the kidneys and the brain which may lead to seizures, coma and even death.
Malaria is transmitted by an infected female mosquito, which mainly bites between sunset and sunrise.
Malaria is widely distributed throughout the world, with endemic areas across most of Africa, most of Southern and South East Asia, Central and South America and parts of the Middle East. In 2015, the World Health Organisation estimated there were 212 million new cases of malaria resulting in approximately 429,000 deaths worldwide.
Malaria is a medical emergency requiring urgent attention. Blood tests can confirm the diagnosis and the patient requires prompt treatment to prevent the potential complications of the disease.
Bite avoidance is one aspect of prevention. This includes wearing appropriate clothing, the use of DEET based insect repellents, mosquito nets and sleeping in screened accommodation.
The other aspect of prevention is malaria prophylaxis medications which are approximately 90-95% effective.appointment. See below for further information on each medication.
Anti-Malaria Medications - Patient Selection Tool
Administration: Daily; 1-2 days before / every day during / 7 days after return
Possible duration of treatment: 1 year
Contraindications: Severe renal impairment/pregnancy/breastfeeding/Metoclopramide
Side Effects: abdominal pain, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, cough
Administration: Daily: 1-2 days before / every day during / 4 weeks after return
Possible duration of treatment: 2 year
Contraindications: pregnant / breast feeding / children <12
Side Effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oesophagitis, photosensitivity
Administration: Weekly; 10 days before / weekly / 4 weeks after return
Possible duration of treatment: 3 year
Coverage: Worldwide but some resistance in South East Asia
Contraindications: depression/psych / epilepsy / liver impairment / (pregnancy)
Side Effects: dizziness, sleep disturbance, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nasuea
Administration: 2 tablets at a time weekly; 1 week before / weekly / 4 weeks after return
Possible duration of treatment: > 5 years
Coverage: Large scale resistance. Effective in Central America & Middle East
Contraindications: Epilelsy / Amiodarone use
Side Effects: nausea, vomiting, headache, skin reactions, visual disturbance