What is it?
Malaria is a tropical disease caused by a parasite found in the saliva of infected mosquitoes.
How is it spread?
Malaria is passed on by an infected mosquito biting a person. Malaria is not contagious as its method of transmission is not through person to person contact.
Where is the disease most prevalent?
Malaria occurs extensively in tropical and subtropical regions. It no longer exists in the UK. Each year 2,000 to 2,500 people return to Britain with malaria, which they have contracted abroad, and, of these, an average of 12 die. For this reason it is important to prevent malaria in those travelling to and from the tropics.
How do you prevent infection?
Malaria can be prevented. Avoidance of being bitten is most important. Always seek out further medical advice before travelling to a region where malaria is prevalent.
Can it be treated?
Malaria is treatable. Early diagnosis can lead to successful treatment. Prevention is better than cure.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, weakness, vomiting and sometimes diarrhoea. Malaria is passed on by an infected mosquito biting a person.
How dangerous is it?
Malaria is preventable and treatable and yet it remains one of the major causes of death worldwide. Always seek medical advice before travelling to a region where malaria is prevalent, and remain vigilant on your return. If you have any signs or symptoms or concerns, always seek medical advice and explain your travel pattern.