In some parts of the world, anti-malaria tablets are recommended. Check with your GP or pharmacist whether this will be necessary for you before travelling.
Taking medication before, during and after travel to a country where malaria is a risk can help to protect you against malaria.
The malaria risk profile of the country you’re visiting, and your own health history, will determine the type of anti-malaria tablet you need to take, and you can find more information on this here.
Maloff Protect (atovaquone/proguanil) is designed to be taken from one to two days before travel to an affected country right through to one week after your return. Find out more about Maloff Protect here to see if it’s the right option for you and always read the label.
Before taking anti-malaria tablets, it’s recommended that everyone undergoes a full travel health consultation to help them to fully understand their travel health risk.
Mosquito nets can assist with malaria prevention by blocking mosquitoes from getting near your skin in the first place. Mosquito nets are usually treated with insecticide or insect repellent to begin with, and they’re designed to be hung over a door or window or around the area where you’re sleeping to keep mosquitoes at bay.
A mosquito net is especially recommended if you’re going to be sleeping in a space that isn’t air-conditioned, as these insects are attracted to heat.
What’s more, mosquito nets don’t just provide protection against malaria; they can also help to protect against other mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Zika virus, dengue fever and the West Nile virus.
While insect repellent can help to repel mosquitoes, applying it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be bitten. If you’re not taking other precautions against malaria, you’ll still be at risk of contracting the illness, so anti-malaria tablets are still essential.
Insect repellent spray needs to be reapplied as frequently as recommended to ensure maximum protection as not all insect sprays offer the same duration of protection.
When you’re choosing an insect repellent, consider one that includes at least 20% concentration DEET (Diethyltoluamide), as this can repel mosquitoes, discouraging them from biting you.
Spraying insecticides can help to stop any mosquitoes that do enter your accommodation in their tracks, preventing them from biting you. Buy this at home and take it in your suitcase when you travel in case you can’t find any in the country you’re visiting.
Try to wear the following clothing to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, lowering your chance of developing malaria as a result:
- Long-sleeved tops
- Long trousers
- Closed-toe shoes that keep your feet covered, rather than sandals
- A hat with a wide brim to keep mosquitoes away from your face and neck
Look for clothing made from breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen to help you to stay cool despite being covered up if you’re travelling to a hot climate where malaria may be present.
Screens, Fans and Air Conditioning
Mosquitoes are drawn to heat, so keeping your accommodation as cool as possible by putting screens up at the windows, having an electric fan to hand and making use of any air conditioning units can help to ward them off, potentially preventing you from getting bitten.
Be Wary of Bite Prevention Myths
Some people believe that eating garlic or taking vitamin B tablets can help to prevent mosquito bites, but there is no concrete scientific evidence to suggest this. Taking anti-malaria tablets and following other bite prevention methods will be much more effective.