As the seventh largest country in the world, India comes steeped in culture, colour, a diverse history and a landscape that offers something new and exciting around every corner.
From the extreme, baking heat of the deserts to the cold Northern Mountain Region of the Himalayas and not to mention the monsoon, rain-soaked season, whatever you’re seeking from your adventure, India has got it covered but what about the risk of Malaria?
It’s important to be aware of the malaria risk in any country you’re travelling to, including India, so the following information will give guidance on how to help protect against malaria.
The prevention of malaria involves 4 key steps termed ABCD which need to be considered before travelling to any country where malaria could be present.
ABCD stands for:
Awareness – awareness of whether you’re at risk of getting malaria
Bite prevention – this involves following the advice listed below to avoid mosquito bites
Chemoprophylaxis – in some area, travellers are advised to take anti-malaria tablets to help prevent contracting malaria
Diagnosis –seek medical attention immediately if you have any concerns about potential symptoms, including up to a year after returning from travelling
It’s important to be aware of the risk of malaria in India before travelling there which can vary dependent on whereabouts in India you’re travelling to and the time of year. Make sure to check the Fit for Travel website here for the most up to date information on the malaria risk in India before you travel.
To help protect against mosquito bites in any country, including India, you should:
- Wear clothing that is long and loose to cover your arms and legs to prevent them from being accessible to mosquitoes
- Hang mosquito nets around your bed and the door to your accommodation
- Use an insect repellent of at least 20% DEET-based concentration and reapply as often as recommended (if you’re looking for a DEET-free product, a bottle of Malaway insect repellent is currently free with any purchase of Maloff Protect, while stocks last)
- Switch on air conditioning and fans, and use screens to keep your room cool which is less attractive to mosquitoes
Anti-malarial tablets can also help to provide extra protection against malaria, but they are not suitable for everyone. Find out if they are required ahead of a trip to India by undergoing a full travel health consultation or speaking to your local pharmacist
You will need to know what symptoms to look out for so you can access advice and treatment as quickly as possible if you are concerned you may have malaria.
As per the NHS website, symptoms of malaria include:
- A high temperature of 38°C or above
- Feeling hot and shivery
- Muscle pains
- Generally feeling unwell
You should seek medical advice immediately if you develop malaria symptoms. These can occur during or up to 12 months after visiting a country which has malaria.
If your GP or pharmacist has recommended anti-malarial tablets to protect you against malaria during a trip to India, find out if an over the counter solution such as Maloff Protect (atovaquone and proguanil) is the right option for you here.