A BIG truck can run you over and may kill or maim you.
A SINGLE mosquito can bite you and may kill or make you too ill to work or have fun.
It doesn't have to be like that the ABCD of malaria helps you avoid the mosquito truck.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a word derived from the Latin for 'bad air'. The malaria disease is caused by a parasite which has four human types, all of which have differing geography. The one that kills is predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa but also occurs in South East Asia and perhaps in New Guinea. This is the fatal falciparum form. The World Health Organisation estimates two to three million deaths per year and about 40% of the world's population live in a malaria area. Once inside you, the parasite multiplies after passing through the liver and back into the red cells.
How can Malaria be prevented?
In areas with malaria, following the ABCD guidance:
A. Awareness. We will discuss with you were there is a malaria risk and what type of malaria.
B. Bite avoidance. See above.
C. Compliance with anti-malaria medication. We offer a choice of 4 drug groups. Choloroquine and/or Paludrine are only suitable for certain parts of the world. Many other areas require either Lariam (Mefloquine), Doxycycline or Malarone. Details about these drugs are on the back of this leaflet.
D. Diagnosis. Despite all we do and what you do, you can still get malaria and it can make itself known up to 1 year after you return. Come to us and we will test you for malaria.
What choice do I have in Malaria Medication?
All drugs have side-effects, some more than others but these are not as bad as dying of malaria. Almost all drugs can cause some nausea and vomiting.
Malarone (£ expensive)
This drug has an excellent safety profile to date. It may cause mild diarrhoea. It is usually taken 1 day before entering the malaria area, daily whilst there and for an only 7 days after.
This is our preferred anti-malarial.
Lariam (Mefloquine) (£ moderate)
This drug causes anxiety and depression in some but especially those of you with a past history. It is only taken once a week but if you have never had it before we would only give it 3 weeks before travel to rule out any likely side-effects. If you do take it, it must be continued whilst in the malaria area and for an additional 4 weeks after.
Doxycycline (£ cheap)
This drug can cause thrush in women, about 5% of people develop a sun-activated rash and it must be taken with food. If it is not taken with food there is the risk of a gut ulcer and a hole in the gut. It is usually taken 1 day before entering the malaria area, daily whilst there and for an additional 4 weeks after.
Choloroquine and/or Paludrine (£ cheap)
A very safe drug combination. You can get mouth ulcers, bad dreams, a minor degree of hair loss. These drugs are usually taken 1 week before entering the malaria area, whilst there and for an additional 4 weeks after.