Every year around 2,000 residents of the United States are diagnosed with malaria most of which had recently traveled abroad. Travelers to high-risk malaria areas are more likely be infected. So, when traveling, you should take every necessary precaution to prevent getting malaria and conduct a risk assessment.
Research Your Destination
Before traveling, research the possibility of contracting malaria at your destination. Some countries and regions have higher cases of malaria and when you travel to those places you are at a higher risk of infection. It is also best to know which species of malaria is common where you are traveling as well as the drug presence there. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has a table that provides the information on malaria in each country in case you need to seek medical attention while you’re there. You can read the table here.
Prevent Mosquito Bites
Malaria is caused by mosquito bites, so the best way to avoid malaria is to avoid mosquito bites. You can do this by using a bug spray and by treating your bed with insecticide and using a mosquito net while you sleep. It can also be necessary to look into antimalarial drugs depending on where you are traveling to. To get antimalarial medicine, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment before your departure date and your physician can assure that you are getting the correct one for your travels.
Visit the Doctor Before Traveling
Before traveling, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. At your appointment, your physician can make make suggestions on how to stay as safe as possible while on your journey, advise on food and drink safety, treat any preexisting medical conditions, and make sure that you are up to date on any vaccinations that you may need. Your doctor can also prescribe you any antimalarial drugs you may need in the country or region where you’re traveling. Some antimalarial drugs that you get overseas will not be as effective as the ones you will get in the United States. They may be counterfeit or they could not be made to the United Stated FDA (Food and Drug Administration) standards. You should always attain your antimalarial medicine before traveling to ensure that you are getting the correct and most affective drug you can. Check out the CDC’s table on drugs for malaria prevention for more information on which medicine is right for you.
Know the Symptoms
The ability to recognize the symptoms for malaria can save your trip as well as your life. If you’re traveling in a high-risk malaria area and start to exhibit flu-like symptoms (such as fever, chills, or headaches), there is a chance that you have contracted malaria. If you notice these symptoms for up to a year after traveling, seek medical attention and be sure to inform your physician of your travel history. If you are at a high risk of contracting malaria, consider traveling with the treatment course for the infection. Talk to your doctor about the options available to you before your trip.
Malaria Prevention With BASS Urgent Care
For more information on malaria and malaria prevention, contact BASS Urgent Care. Our facility is a low-risk and CDC compliant, but we offer telehealth appointments as well. We offer a variety of vaccines and full laboratory services. Here at BASS Urgent Care we are equipped to handle all of your non-emergency needs, including any travel concerns. Schedule your pre-expedition appointment with us today by visiting our website or by calling us at (925)267-7800.