Many of the best vacation spots are in malaria areas. The more adventurous traveller going to places where fast access to medical guidance isn’t available may wish to carry a course of anti-malarial ‘stand-by ‘ treatment. This may be taken if symptoms of possible malaria develop, but it’s not an alternative to medical care, and it’s vital to seek medical advice and a blood film. There are malaria diagnostic kits available which enable travellers to do a blood test on themselves to decide if their illness is due to malaria or not.
However , studies have shown that travellers have problems doing these tests when they are shivering with fever! We think it is more safe to act as if it is malaria and seek medical guidance than to try and do a test which may not be interpreted correctly and that might then delay having malaria treatment that could save your life.
The stand-by regime will be dependent on the drug resistance in the part of the world you are visiting and on which anti-malarial drugs are being taken. It is sensible to get hold of specialist advice.
Some examples of stand-by medicines are 3 Fansider pills taken at the very same time are the handiest, but this isn’t suitable for people who are have a sulphur drug allergy.
Two Mefloquine capsules taken together followed by 2 tablets 12 hours later . The main difficulty with this dose of mefloquine is serious nausea and vomiting and the increased chance of neuropsychiatric side-effects.
Quinine, adult dose: 2 pills, 3 times per day for 3 days, and tetracycline, adult dose: one tablet, 4 times each day for 7 days, are recommended as standby medicine in areas with a lot of drug resistance. Malarone may be recommended as a stand by treatment. The adult dose is 4 capsules daily for a few days.
The danger of malaria infection is a genuine and significant problem for the visitor. It is essential that pre-travel guidance is taken and acted onand that each traveller takes anti-mosquito bite measures and decides which anti-malarial drug program is appropriate for them. It is vital to understand that no anti-malarial drug is 100 percent effective and any sickness, particularly if there’s fever, must lead directly to a blood test to exclude malaria. It is also hugely important to inform the doctor that you’ve been to a malaria area within the preceding 2 years. If this adviceisn’t obeyed, a malaria diagnosis won’t be considered till too late, and tragic and preventable deaths will continue to happen.
To summarize the key points, you must take measures to stop mosquito bites: repellents, impregnated bed nets, suitable clothing, sleep in a screened room with knock-down insecticides, coils or electronic vapourisers. Take suitable anti-malarial drugs regularly and complete the course. Remember that no prophylaxis is 100 per cent effective and, in the event of any illness, particularly if there is fever, seek immediate diagnosis, with a blood film, and treatment.
lastly, and most importantly you must consider carrying a ‘stand-by treatment’.
Ian has returned to his first love travel writing, and discovering new places to go and stay. Take a look atUnusual Vacation Spots, which are vacation spots you may not have heard of. Also check out British Virgin Islands Vacations where you will find some amazing places to stay and things to do and see in the BVI