Are you a frequent traveler? Do you travel to various parts of the world such as South America, Africa or Southeast Asia on a regular basis? If so, you should be aware of the threat of malaria. This is an infectious disease caused by a parasite that enters your blood through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Malaria is a deadly problem that, in 2010, caused the deaths of more than 665,000 people in Africa. If you fear the threat of malaria when traveling, you need consider some measures that can help reduce the risk of contacting malaria.
Malaria is preventable. However, very few people know how to prevent this menace, which is why we see such death tolls resulting from this disease that has established medications. Here are some of the critical preventive measures for your knowledge.
Awareness of the Problem – Malaria is preventable and curable. However, very few people are aware of this deadly disease and its complications. If you are worried about malaria, and traveling to malaria infested areas, you should be aware how you can prevent it. Such awareness will lay the foundation for preventing such diseases.
Take Medication if Entering Danger Zones – Malaria is extremely prevalent in the North African continent, Middle East, Southeast Asia region, Latin America and the Caribbean. There are many anti-malarial drugs available to help you avoid getting malaria. If you are traveling to any country known for malaria infestation, you should consider taking these medications before leaving your country. You cannot buy your malaria medication over the counter. You need to obtain this from a health care practitioner.
Use Bed Nets – Bed nets are extremely effective in keeping mosquitoes away. Therefore, if you are in a mosquito infested area, consider sleeping under a net. It may be a difficult task as many feel claustrophobic under a bed net. However, this might just be the best preventive measure, when you are in a Malaria infested area.
Using Insect Repellents – Always consider using insect repellents with DEET to keep mosquitoes away, if staying for long periods in mosquito infested areas. If you do not have any repellent, wear long sleeved shirts and trousers to prevent getting bitten.
Empty Water – The infestation of mosquitoes can be prevented by ensuring that you empty pots and all other containers full of water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Emptying any containers that contain standing water destroys their breeding ground. Cover open water containers as mosquitoes can also breed in your water jugs.
There are many medications, such as, Quinine that you can consider taking, if you are traveling to a malaria infested country. However, prevention is the best cause of action and hence, you should carry insect repellents, bed netting and take anti-malarial medications, depending on the risk level of the destination you are traveling to.