Should I be taking anti-malaria medication?

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Every year, millions of US residents travel to countries where malaria is present. About 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States annually, mostly in returned travelers.

Malaria is a life-threatening illness and it is transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, sweats and chills. To prevent malaria, travelers should take a medicine called an antimalarial when going to places where malaria is present.

Some other diseases caused by insect bites are dengue fever and Zika virus. Dengue fever is becoming more common, and there is no vaccine in the United States. Symptoms include fever and joint pain.

To lower your risk of insect bites:

  • Use an insect repellent. It should be applied two or three times a day. Put it on skin not covered by clothes, but don't use it under your clothes.

  • Wear clothes treated with the insect repellent permethrin. One application of permethrin will protect you from mosquitoes for more than a month, despite washing your clothes multiple times. Use on outer clothing, but not on underwear.

  • Sleep under a bed net that has been treated with permethrin. This isn't as important if you are staying in a room with air-conditioning. The risk of malaria isn't as high if the temperature is kept cool.

  • Wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck your pants into your socks.

  • Wear closed-toe shoes.

Stop by any of our clinics for a travel consultation. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Source: CDC