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The risk of dying from Malaria in
short term travellers (2 - 6 weeks) is around 1 in 4000 if no preventative
medication taken. Each year many travellers fall ill with malaria while visiting
countries where the disease is endemic, and well over 10,000 fall ill on return
to their home country. About 1% of patients with falciparum malaria infection
A recent German study of travellers spending 2 -6 weeks in
Kenya showed that on average 20% had evidence of malarial antibodies (ie. were
bitten by malarial carrying mosquitoes) The risk was higher in independent
travellers (50%) and lower in package tours (5%) *2
* Ref 1/.
WHO year book 2002 page132...www.who.int\ith\chapter07_02.html
*2/. Travel seminar notes May
2000 - Jelinet et al: JID 1996
Prevention Medication Considerations .. also mefloquine
"No drug is devoid of
side-effects, and chemoprophylactic drugs should not be prescribed in the absence of a
malaria risk. Not all travellers to countries where malaria exists should automatically
be prescribed prophylaxis. This is especially true for tourists and business
travellers who will visit only urban areas that are malaria-free." *
"Both travellers and doctors should be aware that no
antimalarial prophylactic regimen gives complete protection. Falciparum malaria, which can
be fatal, must always be suspected if fever, with or without other symptoms, develops at
any time between one week after the first possible exposure to malaria and two months (or
even later in rare cases) after the last possible exposure.
The most important factors that determine the survival of patients with falciparum malaria
are early diagnosis and appropriate treatment."
Information mostly taken from: "International
Travel and Health" (WHO year book -
Australian Immunisation Handbook, 8th Edition - 9/2003 - Part1 - Part 2 & Part 3 (large pdf
Centre for Disease Control, USA - www.cdc.gov/travel Travel Health Seminar Oct 96, June 97,Feb 98, March 99, May 2000, August 2002 &
March 2005 - Victorian Medical Postgraduate Foundation.
Manual of Travel Medicine,
Melbourne, Oct 2004.
Updated 06/09/2006. Additional references & disclaimer.