One of the most common questions that arise whenever holiday travelers visit tropical countries in Asia is whether they should carry medication to prevent malaria. The fact is that there is no single answer – it really depends on where you go and what you want. It is useful, for example, to take preventive medications against malaria, if you are planning to hike in northern Thailand, near the Myanmar border. The same measures are unnecessary for a trip to the popular beach of Phuket Island.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the protection against malaria is as easy as ABC. Here is your guide:
- Learn about existing malaria risks at your destination, and also on symptoms and the incubation periods.
- Pay special attention to period of time between sunset and sunrise, as it is he opportune time for mosquitoes to sting.
- Take appropriate medications for prevention.
- Find a doctor immediately in the destination country if you get fever after a week.
How should I prepare?With the above WHO strategies in mind and using common sense, protect yourself against malaria. Here are some additional tips:
- Check what clothes to pack. Because malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, you can use simple measures to protect against bites, such as long clothing, insect repellent, and mosquito nets.
- If you stay in an area where there is a high risk of malaria, prepare yourself accordingly (Note: In many areas of high malaria risk, there are drug-resistant variants. Talk to your doctor and make sure that you have the correct medicines).
- Talk to your doctor openly about the real risks of infection during your trip. Do not forget that anti-malarial drugs can be expensive, have unpleasant side effects and not entirely effective. Make sure that it is really necessary to take them.
- Visit online forums to know other travelers’ experiences during their travel in malaria-prone countries.