It is true for most diseases that prevention is better than any cure. For malaria, however, this is particularly true. Luckily, malaria can effectively be prevented by taking malaria tablets and avoiding insect bites. It is very rare for travellers to fall ill despite having taken precautions, but a small risk of infection remains. Acute malaria needs to be treated immediately and most patients recover quickly once they are given medication. Learning as much as possible about the disease will help you protect yourself while you are abroad.
Is there a cure for malaria?
Malaria is a curable disease. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better. If the infection develops, there is a risk that it can cause serious complications such as brain damage, coma or even death. Malaria is particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women and most malaria deaths occur in small children. Acute malaria is usually treated with Quinine or Chloroquine.
How is malaria treated?
There are two types of treatments for malaria – preventative treatment and emergency treatment. Malaria can be very dangerous, so it is important to take a preventative treatment if you are travelling to a risk area. This also applies to you if you are from a malaria area and you have been away for a while.
There are several drugs used to protect you from malaria, including:
- Lariam – Superdrug Health Clinics do not offer Lariam as a form of Malaria Prophylaxis
Which drug is best for you depends on your medical history and which country you are travelling to. In some areas, the malaria parasite has developed a resistance to certain medications, which means that they might not work well. Some of these treatments need to be started well in advance of travelling, so you should plan ahead and make sure you are protected from malaria by the time you travel.
Emergency malaria treatment
Thankfully, most travellers never need to consider emergency malaria treatment. However, while it is highly unlikely that you get malaria despite having taken malaria tablets, it is not entirely impossible. You should always remain vigilant while you are in a malaria area or after returning from a trip abroad, in case you develop malaria symptoms.
Malaria is very dangerous and it can be fatal if it is not treated. With treatment, patients usually make a quick recovery. If you are travelling to a very remote area without access to healthcare you may want to consider taking a treatment for acute malaria with you. This way, you can be sure that you can get treated immediately, should your prevention fail for any reason.
The following drugs are used to treat acute malaria:
- Quinine is usually given intravenously
- it works for all types of malaria
- the drug stops the development of the malaria parasite in your blood
- Chloroquine is usually taken in the form of tablets
- the plasmodium falciparum parasite in some parts of the world is resistant to chloroquine
Both medications are also sometimes used to prevent malaria. If you fall ill with malaria, you need to see a doctor immediately. The doctor will decide which medication you need and they may also take a blood sample for analysis, to identify the type of malaria parasite you have.
Malaria can have a very long incubation period, which means that it can take a long time before the infection causes any symptoms. You should always see a doctor if you develop symptoms of malaria, even if it has been weeks since you left the risk area.
Most importantly however, you need to take malaria tablets to avoid catching the disease. For a convenient way to order your tablets online, use Superdrug Online Doctor. Our doctor will review whether the tablets are suitable for you before they are dispatched from the Superdrug online pharmacy.
In addition to taking tablets you need to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Bed Nets, insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing are essential if you are travelling to a risk area and will greatly reduce your risk of contracting the disease.