How to prevent malaria while travelling

Malaria, one of the world's biggest killers, is an infectious disease passed on by a mosquito bite. The following separates facts from myths, answers frequently asked questions and helps prevent malaria while travelling.

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Key Facts

  • The UK is one of the biggest importers of malaria among industrialised countries
  • Every year approximately 2,000 British travellers return home with malaria
  • It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to contract malaria
  • Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a tiny parasite that invades red blood cells
  • Malaria can present from any time from about a week up to a year after exposure
  • Over 50% of cases among UK travellers tend to be people aged between 25 and 54
  • The incidence of malaria in children has tripled over the past 30 years
  • Malaria is a preventable infection but can be fatal if left untreated – an average of nine people in the UK die each year of malaria
  • Travellers are at risk when visiting malarious destination areas without taking bite avoidance measures and antimalarial medication
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