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QuestionMore information on Malaria medicine protection

What is Malaria?

It is a potentially fatal blood disease caused by a parasite and transferred to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito.

What are its symptoms?

The symptoms of Malaria infection include flu-like illness with fever, chills, muscle aches, and headache. Cycles of these symptoms may repeat every one, two, or three days. In addition, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and a yellowish discoloration of both eyes and skin due to destruction of red blood and liver cells are also common.

Where is it considered a threat?

It is widespread in tropical and subtropical areas. Transmission of Malaria may occur in large areas of Central and South America, parts of the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, India, parts of the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, and the South Pacific.

Who should receive protection?

Anyone traveling to an area where Malaria is present shouldmeet with a certified travel doctor to begin taking a prescribed anti-Malaria prophylaxis. All medicines are generally well-tolerated and are prescribed due to the geographical area you will be visiting. Your certified travel doctor will also take into account factors such as age, pregnancy status, chronic medical conditions, etc.

What types of medicines are used?

Although no vaccine is available for Malaria, there are anti-Malaria medications that can reduce the risk of becoming infected while abroad.Whatever preventive medicine is chosen, it's important to take it regularly and as directed by our doctor-both while you're away and when you return.

There are three main drugs for preventing malaria.

Malarone

This medicine should be started two days before travel and only needs to be continued for a week after leaving the infectious area. It is contraindicated in people with advanced kidney disease and pregnant women.

It's taken daily and should be taken with a meal rich in fats such as yogurtormilk to avoid the risk of it not being adequately absorbed from the stomach.

Doxycycline

It's taken daily, starting one to two days before travel, while in the infectious area, and continuing for four weeks after leaving the area. People who take doxycycline should be aware that it may make their skin very sensitive to the sun. Always take it with food and women may be more prone to thrush.

Doxycycline can also interfere with the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive pill and barrier methods of contraception are recommended when it is used. Conception attempts should be delayed for more than one week after the last tablet.

Larium

This medicine is taken once a week, 1-2 weeks before traveling to infectious areas and for 4 weeks after leaving such areas. Its main side-effects are mood changes and abnormal dreams. Larium is contraindicated in people with active depression, a recent history of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, other major psychiatric disorders, or seizures.

Is Malaria medicine required?

Not by law, but it is highly recommended.

What if I received it in the past?

Since it only works at the time it is being taken, the Malaria medicine will be needed again.

Is the medicine covered by insurance?

Medicine is mostly covered by insurance.

What else can be done to help prevent Malaria?

Take all precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Questions? Call   212.696.5900
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  • Polio
  • Meningitis
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