Tips for avoiding malaria risks when you travel
*This avoiding Malaria post is a collaboration
Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. It is an infectious disease contracted from the Anopheles mosquito that can affect anyone, from children to the elderly. According to WHO, approximately 400,000 people die from this disease every year. Many of these deaths stem from life-threatening health complications like kidney failure that malaria causes. For this reason, prevention and treatment for this disease are important. Treatment and prevention efforts have helped substantially reduce the number of people who contract the illness.
In the United States and many other developed countries, malaria has been eliminated since the 1950s. At this time, the disease was only common in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Island. However, according to researchers, the number of imported malaria cases has risen steadily since the 1970s. Therefore, the disease has spread to many states and countries like North America, Mexico, Brazil, and the Caribbean Islands. For this reason, travelers are required to practice tips for avoiding this infectious disease when they travel abroad. Below are some of these tips.
Research the location or travel destination
The first way to avoid malaria when you travel is by researching the destination. As mentioned earlier, most developed countries have managed to eradicate and keep their malaria cases minimal. However, second and third-world countries are still a hotbed for malaria contraction. Therefore, as you plan a trip, one of the first and most important things you should do is research the destination and see its malaria situation. Note that diseases vary in different destinations globally. Therefore, even if a country is not known for its malaria cases, you may acquire important information about other diseases. In your research, make sure you find out how much malaria occurs in an area and when. Most of the time, the answers depend on the altitude and climate of an area.
Visit your healthcare provider
The next thing you should do is talk to your healthcare provider. Let them know that you will be traveling and your destination. Ensure you visit a doctor four to six weeks before you depart for your trip. This is because you may need several vaccinations before traveling. Some of these vaccinations may need time to work in the body.
Additionally, your healthcare provider may require you to update your vaccinations. For instance, you may require booster vaccines for conditions like measles, polio, and influenza. Additionally, your healthcare provider will have information on certain countries that may require specific vaccinations. Some of these countries will not allow you to enter them without proof that you have had the specified vaccines. For instance, you cannot enter Saudi Arabia without a Meningococcal vaccination. In the case of malaria, your health provider will offer you some healthy tips to avoid or detect the disease. Your health provider may provide you with a medication to prevent infections (chemoprophylaxis). Therefore, visiting a doctor is a good move to avoid malaria and other diseases when traveling.
Guard yourself against mosquitoes
The next thing to do if you still travel is to protect yourself from mosquitoes – the disease carriers. Mosquito bites transmit the parasite that causes the disease. Most of the time, mosquitoes seek you out in attempts to bite you. They usually detect human warmth, the carbon dioxide you exhale, and the odor of your sweat. You can avoid mosquito bites by avoiding staying indoors between dusk and dawn, which is usually the time when they are most prominent.
You can also guard yourself against mosquitoes by covering up your bare skin, especially when you are outside at night. You can also use repellents and insecticides, which usually deter the mosquitoes. Apply the products to your bare skin or clothes. You can also burn mosquito coils or use heated insecticide mats in living and sleeping areas, especially at night. Additionally, you can use insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
Remember when travelling
You do not have to avoid trips to areas with mosquitoes cases. All you need to do is prepare yourself and learn how to protect yourself from contracting the illness.