News has recently come out on malaria treatment failures in 4 different UK based patients. All four patients contracted malaria while in Africa and traveled back to the UK for treatment.
After being treated with the first line drugs for the disease, they showed signs of full recovery and were discharged. Only to return a few days later when symptoms reappeared. They were swiftly treated with the second line treatment and made full recoveries. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine stated that although there is no need to panic, that urgent research and appraisals to look into the malaria strains now found in Africa.
Now what does that mean for the casual traveler and tourist?
Bite prevention and malaria prophylactic tablets are even more essential that ever before. You can’t get malaria if you don’t get bitten! The usual rules apply:
- HPS recommends DEET(diethyltoluamide) based insect repellents at a concentration of 50%, which should be applied regularly according to manufacturers instructions. DEET up to 50% is safe for use in pregnancy. If DEET is unsuitable then another, proven alternative should be used. However, few repellents are as effective as DEET.
- Wearing loose, cover-up clothing is recommended. Items of clothing can also be treated to repel mosquitoes.
- Insecticide-impregnated bed nets and air conditioning should be used in bedrooms. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites around hotel rooms/homes is advised for longer-term stays.
There are an array of Malaria prophylactic tablets, each designed to protect against a variety of strains of Malaria depending on your destination. Please book a consultation with us to find out which medication will best suit your destination.
The Team at Barnet Travel Clinic