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Travelling to a new place? Know about Prevention, treatment and complications of malaria

Travelling to a new place? Know about Prevention, treatment and complications of malaria
in Internal Medicine

Apr 19, 2022

Malaria is a common and a deadly health condition in India. The World Health Organisation (WHO) highlights that India accounts for 75% of all malaria cases in Southeast Asia. The symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, chills, and vomiting that usually appear within a fortnight of the mosquito bite.

If you are traveling, you need to be more cautious about the malaria risk at that location. Follow the instructions below:

  • Risk awareness– We should identify if we are at the risk of having malaria prior to traveling.
  • Prevention of bite– We should avoid the mosquito bites by the use of insect repellant and by covering our arms & legs and usage of insecticide-treated mosquito net.
  • Check whether you require tablets for prevention of malaria– If we do, we shall ensure that we take the actual antimalarial tablets in the right dose & finish its course.
  • Diagnosis– We should seek immediate medical assistance if we develop symptoms of malaria as long as up till 1 year after we return from a travel.

Do consult a doctor before visiting a location with the risk of malaria. It could be recommended that we shall take antimalarial tablets for preventing the infection

Treatment of Malaria

With timely diagnosis and good treatment of malaria, everybody would make a complete recovery. Treatment shall begin right along with the confirmation of malaria through diagnosis. Antimalarial medicines are taken to both prevent and treat malaria. What type of medicines are used and the length of the treatment would depend on:-

  • Type of malaria
  • The severity of our symptoms
  • Where we got malaria from
  • Whether we had taken antimalarial for its prevention
  • If someone is pregnant

In certain cases, we can be prescribed with emergency standby treatment of malaria before our travel. This is generally if there exists a risk of us getting infected with malaria while traveling to a remote region with little or even no access to adequate medical care.

Malaria Complications

Malaria happens to be a serious disease which could worsen very fast. It could be lethal if left untreated promptly. Malaria could lead to serious complications such as:-

Severe anaemia– In this case red blood cells are not able to carry adequate oxygen around our body, thus causing weakness and drowsiness

Cerebral malaria– In some rare cases , small blood vessels leading to our brain could get blocked leading to brain damage, seizures and even coma.

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