Malaria is a tropical disease that affects thousands of travellers worldwide. Itís carried by the anopheles mosquito and passed to you when you are bitten by the female of the species. Although it can be treated quite successfully now, itís still considered one of the most dangerous diseases on the planet, and can cause death in roughly 2% of sufferers.
Although treatable, it is still much easier to prevent malaria than cure it. HealthExpress.eu offers a selection of malaria medications you can take before you travel and we provide a free consultation service to help you find the right tablets for the destination you intend to going to. We provide free overnight delivery on all our treatments so you can be sure to get your medication as soon as possible.
What exactly is malaria?
Malaria is caused by the plasmodium parasite. This parasite is only found in the anopheles mosquito, which only lives in specific parts of the world. When you are bitten by the female mosquito, the parasite passes into your bloodstream and moves to your liver, from where it starts invading red blood cells and eventually causes them to burst. This releases large numbers of the parasite in your system, eventually causing a heavy fever.
There are four types of parasites that cause this disease, namely plasmodium vivax, plasmodium ovale, plasmodium malariae and plasmodium falciparum. The most common and also the most dangerous of the four is plasmodium falciparum, while the other three parasites tend to be much less lethal.
What are the symptoms?
As the parasite spreads, it can cause flu and fever like symptoms such as chills, shakes, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. , Malaria can also lead to conditions such as jaundice and anaemia, because the parasite damages your red blood cells.
Plasmodium falciparum can potentially be more dangerous and lead to conditions such as kidney failure, seizures, coma and mental confusion.
In what parts of the world am I most at risk?
Malaria tends to be much more common in areas closer to the equator where the climate is hot and humid. Areas where there is a high risk of this disease are:
- North Africa
- The Middle East
- South and Central Asia
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Central and South America
- The Caribbean
- Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu (Oceania)
Although the plasmodium falciparum parasite is more common in Africa, it can also be found in Latin America, Asia and Oceania.
How can I prevent this disease?
Using mosquito repellent creams like DEET (diethyltoluamide) or products containing eucalyptus or citronella oil can reduce your risk of being bitten in high risk areas. There are also some sunscreens that already contain insect repellent that you can use to stop you from getting bitten.
As mosquitoes are more active in the dark, sleeping in a mosquito net treated with insecticide is also strongly recommended.
What anti-malarial medications are there?
Although insect repellent and mosquito nets are important precautions, the best way to prevent infection is by taking malaria tablets. The tablets prevent the parasite from multiplying in your blood, which allows your body to keep the parasite under control and prevent a full blown infection.
The anti-malarial medication you should take will depend on the destination you are travelling to. India is a lower risk area and therefore Paludrine/Avloclor is recommended. For areas where there is a higher risk and where the parasite has become immune to Paludrine/Avloclor, Doxycycline and Malarone is recommended.
Treatment with all three medications should be started before you arrive in your destination, and continued during your entire stay and for a few days after youíve arrived back. This is because malaria can take 10 to 15 days to cause symptoms. In very rare cases the parasite can lay dormant for more than a year, but the most dangerous strain of malaria isnít known to do this.
How can I buy malaria tablets online?
If you want to make sure that you are prepared before you go on your holiday, you can order malaria tablets online from HealthExpress.eu. We ask you to complete a free online consultation before placing your order, so that we can help you find the right malaria medication based on your current health and holiday destination. One of our doctors will review your consultation and make a recommendation, after which you will be able to login and order your malaria treatment. All medications are dispensed by our registered pharmacy, via free overnight delivery.