The Public Health England (PHE) Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) has published revised Guidelines for Malaria Prevention in Travellers from the UK.
The guidelines are primarily intended for use by healthcare workers who provide advice to travellers but may also be of interest to prospective travellers themselves. They cover crucial aspects of malaria prevention including the ABCD principles:
- Awareness of risk
- Bite prevention
- Chemoprophylaxis (antimalarial tablets)
- Diagnose promptly and treat without delay
Professor Peter Chiodini, malaria expert at the PHE Malaria Reference Laboratory, said:
The guidelines answer frequently asked questions, and include advice for the prevention of malaria in the presence of co-existing medical conditions, such as epilepsy. Key revisions to the guidelines have been made in the following contexts: general malaria prevention, country recommendations, anti-malarial drug information and special risk groups.
Dr Jane Jones, travel and migrant health expert at PHE said:
In 2013, there were 1,501 cases of imported malaria reported in the UK. Malaria remains an important travel-associated infection, which particularly affects people travelling to visit friends and relatives, especially in Africa and Asia.
Anyone who is travelling to a country where malaria is present should seek pre-travel advice from their general practice or travel health clinic about taking appropriate anti-malarial medication and other necessary measures to protect themselves, especially insect bite avoidance. Severe complications of malaria can be rapidly fatal. Anyone with symptoms (usually flu-like or a fever), either while abroad or after they return home, must get immediate medical help.
The revised malaria guidelines and general information about malaria are available on the PHE website.