What is it?
Malaria is a parasite spread by the bite of an infected mosquito
There are are four main strains
One of which, Falciparum, is fatal unless treated
In some countries Falciparum is nearly 100% of the strains
What are the symptoms?
Fever, chills, sweats, headache, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain
Other less common symptoms include anemia and jaundice
The Falciparum strain of malaria can lead to seizures, coma, kidney failure, respiratory failure and death
Symptoms can develop 7 days to several months after you are infected
How can I contract malaria?
From the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito
Where can I contract it?
Malaria is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, Oceania, Central and South America, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and parts of Mexico
What vaccines are available?
There are 4 drugs used to prevent malaria: Chloroquine, Mefloquine (Larium), Doxycycline and Malarone
The choice of drug comes down to potential side effects, dosing regimes, other meds you might be taking and the part of the world you are going where the drug is effective
How can I prevent malaria?
By taking prescribed anti-malarial medication
Anti-malarial medications aren’t infallible but will significantly decrease your risk of contracting malaria
Use insecticide sprays and insect repellents containing at least 30% DEET
Limit outdoor activities at night, wear permethrin-treated clothing, sleep in screened or air-conditioned areas or under permethrin-treated mosquito nets
Burn mosquito coils at night if you are not sleeping in screened or air-conditioned areas
What is the treatment?
The treatment varies depending on which type of malaria you have been infected with
Malaria can be cured if it is diagnosed early and treated appropriately