Affected Regions: Many tropical areas throughout the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Solomon islands, Papua New Guinea and Haiti.* If you are planning travel to any location where malaria is common, make an appointment with Dr. Adams well in advance of your trip. Since there are a variety of malarial parasites, the doctor will need your precise itinerary, and will prescribe your preventative drug therapy accordingly.
Cause: Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through a mosquito bite. It is a dangerous illness that kills over a million people a year globally, mostly in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Travelers coming from areas that are not exposed to malaria are at greater risk, as local populations are often at least partially immune to the parasite.
Symptoms: Fever and flu-like symptoms such as chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. Malaria can result in anemia and jaundice, and in severe cases, kidney failure, coma and death
Preventive Action: There is no vaccination against malaria, but all travelers to affected regions are advised to take anti-malarial medication before their departure, during their entire stay, and after leaving the destination. The drugs act by inhibiting the development of the parasites in red blood cells.
Because there is no vaccine for Malaria, it’s extremely important that travelers to affected countries take great precaution to prevent mosquito bites. Protective measures include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, sleeping under mosquito nets (the mosquitoes that carry malaria are nocturnal), spraying with insect repellant containing the recommended amount of DEET, and using Permethrin on outer clothing, bedding and mosquito netting.
*Countries considered to carry a moderate to high risk of malaria for U.S. travelers include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.