Malaria is a disease transmitted through a mosquito bite. It is a major public health problem worldwide, causing approximately 1 million deaths annually.
The best prevention of malaria is to understand where malaria is a risk in the world, and to take anti-malarial medications. It is also very important to practice good insect precautions when you are in high risk areas.
Malaria is most commonly seen in large areas of Africa, Central and South America, parts of the Caribbean, Asia, Eastern Europe and the South Pacific.
Your specific risk varies, depending on the constantly changing malaria transmission patterns, destination country, and detailed itinerary (including area, season, accommodations, and style of travel).
Your clinician will be able to identify your level of risk, and may recommend anything from no interventions, insect precautions only, or insect precautions and anti-malarial medications.
Travelers who are returning to their country of origin (where malaria may be present) to visit friends and relatives may consider themselves at no risk because they feel they are “immune, or from that country.” It is recommended that these individuals consult a travel medicine specialist, since their previously acquired immunity can be lost quickly when they move away from that area.