How can malaria be prevented?
There are two main ways to prevent malaria infection: by preventing mosquito bites and by taking anti-malarial medication.
Ways to prevent mosquito bite include:
- Wearing loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Using high strength mosquito repellent on exposed skin and clothes. If also using sunscreen, make sure to apply sunscreen first and then the repellent.
- Using clothing and equipment such as boots and tents treated with permethrin (an insecticide).
- Being extra vigilant at dawn and dusk (peak mosquito biting hours).
- Removing or covering still water, e.g. water buckets.
- Sleeping in a room where windows and doors are closed or screened or using a bed net if the room is exposed to the outdoors. Use “Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets” (LLINs) in preference to “Insecticide-Treated Nets” (ITNs).
- Spraying the indoor surfaces of houses and living quarters with residual insecticides.
There are several different anti-malarial medications available and your doctor will be able to decide which one is most suitable for you depending on your itinerary. These need to be taken before, during and after your trip.
For further information regarding malaria and its prevention, speak with your healthcare professional.
Sources & Citations
1. Australian Government. Department of Health. National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. Number of notifications for Malaria, Australia, 1991 to 2019 and year-to-date notifications for 2020. Available at: http://www9.health.gov.au/cda/source/rpt_4.cfm (accessed 11 March 2020).
2. NSW Government, Department of Health, Malaria fact sheet. Available at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/malaria.aspx (accessed 11 March 2020).
3. World Health Organisation, Malaria Fact Sheet. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/ (accessed 11 March 2020).
4. Victorian State Government, Better Health Channel, Malaria. Available at https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/malaria (accessed 11 March 2020).
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Malaria Disease. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/disease.html (accessed 11 March 2020).
SPANZ.SAPAS.18.05.0186(1)a - Date of preparation March 2020