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A fly in the ointment: preparing for unwanted encounters on holiday

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malaria tabletsJetting away on holiday to a far-flung destination is something we all look forward to. Everyone loves relaxing and getting away from the daily grind on a therapeutic break from the norm. But depending on where you choose a home from home, there are a few boxes to be ticked before slipping into your swimwear.

First comes the pleasure–pain of booking and paying for the holiday; then comes the obligatory trip to purchase sun cream, sunglasses and travel insurance. And in amongst those other essentials hides one other task that can sometimes be overlooked –malaria protection.

It’s not surprising that we aren’t all familiar with the ins and outs of anti-malaria treatment in the UK. After all, it is a problem we don’t have to concern ourselves with on our little island. Choose a trip to one of the more exotic holiday destinations in your brochure, though, and you’ll find it’s important to do your homework fast.


What is malaria?

Malaria is a serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. A single mosquito bite is all it takes for someone to become infected and if not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can be fatal.

The figures speak for themselves. The latest World Malaria Report, published by the World Health Organisation in 2013, states there were 207 million cases of malaria worldwide and 627,000 deaths in 2012. In the UK alone, 1,400 travellers were diagnosed with malaria after returning to the UK, of which two sadly died.

So, if you’re jetting off on holiday, you’re likely to question – “will it affect me?” With malaria present in over 100 countries, the answer could well be “yes”.

The disease is found mainly in regions of the world such as Central and South America, large areas of Africa and Asia, and parts of the Middle East. Malaria contracted on holiday is typically treated with antimalarial medication and the majority of sufferers go on to make a full recovery. In all cases, treatment should be started as soon as the diagnosis has been confirmed.

How do I protect myself against malaria?

There is no need to panic if you find that there is a chance of contracting malaria at your holiday destination. But you will be required to take a course of malaria tablets as prescribed by your pharmacist or travel clinician. Buying malaria tablets today is inexpensive and convenient, allowing holiday makers to simply include the course of treatment into their pre-vacation routine.

Of course, with a million of other preparations to make and loose ends to tie up at work, you may find it difficult to visit a pharmacy before you go. At Express Pharmacy, however, we can prescribe malaria tablets online and arrange for delivery direct to your door. As one of the country’s leading online pharmacies, we help to ensure that getting aboard that plane safe and prepared is hassle free.

Order malaria tablets online now, or for more information, call our pharmacy team on 0208 123 0703.

Image courtesy of Jim Gathany