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Information about malaria symptoms and preventative medication

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Dr Hilary Jones discusses malaria and the treatments available at HealthExpress
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Malaria poses one of the biggest risks to people travelling abroad. Malaria is still considered to be the most dangerous disease on the planet, causing more deaths every year than any other infection. More than 1,500 people return to Britain every year with malaria, and despite the best possible treatment, for around 2% of them the disease is fatal.

The best way to prevent malaria is to begin a course of malaria tablets before you travel. HealthExpress offers a free online consultation which can help you to find the right malaria tablets to protect you from infection wherever you go in the world. Free next-day delivery is available on all malaria tablets, and we even offer same-day delivery, so that you can be sure your medication will arrive before you fly.

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Available treatments

Doxycycline  Actavis

  • Can cure chlamydia, NSU and ureaplasma as well as preventing malaria
  • Taken in a lower dose over a longer period of time
  • Free same and next day delivery options
  • Delivered in discreet packaging

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  • Simply fill out our brief consultation in less than 3 minutes.
  • A doctor will review your details within minutes and recommend a treatment(s).
  • You can order your treatment which will be dispatched within 24h.

What exactly is malaria?

Malaria is caused by a parasite called plasmodium. Plasmodium is a single-cell organism which lives in the anopheles species of mosquito and is commonly contracted through a mosquito bite. When you are bitten, the parasites enter your bloodstream and quickly migrate towards your liver, where they multiply before invading your red blood cells. They keep multiplying in your blood cells until they burst, releasing large numbers of parasites into your system, causing a very heavy fever.

There are four types of malaria virus, the most dangerous of which is plasmodium falciparum, which can potentially be fatal. The three other forms of the virus - plasmodium vivax, plasmodium ovale and plasmodium malariae - are more benign and likely to cause a considerable period of illness, rather than a lethal risk.

What are the symptoms of malaria?

As it multiplies and spreads, the malaria parasite can cause flu and fever like symptoms, including chills, shakes, headaches, muscles aching, and fatigue and in some cases nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Because of the loss of red blood cells, malaria can also lead to jaundice and anaemia.

The plasmodium falciparum can potentially create more dangerous symptoms, leading to kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion and coma.

In what parts of the world am I most at risk?

Malaria is most common in hot and humid climates, where the anopheles mosquito lives and thrives. Parts of the world where there is a high risk of malaria include:

  • North Africa
  • The Middle East
  • South and Central Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Central and South America
  • The Caribbean
  • Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu (Oceania)

The fatal plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite is more prevalent in Africa, but is also found in Latin America, Asia and Oceania.

How can I prevent against malaria?

There are a number of basic steps you should take. Mosquito repellent creams will help to prevent bites by repelling mosquitoes. The most effective repellents contain DEET (diethyltoluamide); alternatively there are products that contain eucalyptus oil which are almost as effective. There are also certain sunscreens which now also prevent against insect bites.

A mosquito net treated with insecticide is also highly recommended for when you are sleeping, as mosquitoes are most active when it's dark.

What anti-malarial medications are there?

While taking simple precautions is important, the most successful way to prevent infection is with malaria tablets. Malaria tablets work by preventing the parasites' ability to reproduce, allowing your body to neutralise the infection.

All malaria treatments need to be started before you leave for your destination, and also need to be taken for a short period after you return. Malaria can sometimes take 10 - 15 days to cause symptoms after the infection. In rare cases it can lie dormant for more than a year, although fortunately the most dangerous strain is not known to do this.

Finding treatment

Which treatment you take will depend largely on where you are travelling to. For lower risk areas such as India, a treatment of Paludrine & Avloclor is recommended. For higher risk areas, either Doxycycline or Malarone can be prescribed. Both of these treatments are considered to be effective against the most dangerous form of the virus.

How can I buy malaria tablets online?

If you're going abroad and want to be sure you are safe from malaria, you can buy the right malaria tablets online from HealthExpress. By taking one of our free online consultations, our doctor can confirm which malaria tablets are suitable for you, depending on what part of the world you are visiting. After your consultation has been reviewed, you'll be given a choice of appropriate malaria tablets to choose from. Once you've selected treatment, it will be dispensed and dispatched from our pharmacy for free next-day delivery.

Dr Hilary Jones, HealthExpress Medical Advisor


Malaria has the potential to be very serious, as it is regarded as the most dangerous disease on the planet, therefore prophylactic treatment is important if you are travelling to an area where malaria is a risk. Beginning a course of medication before travelling can easily prevent malaria. The treatments we have available, which are approved by UK registered doctors, are Doxycycline, Paludrine/Avloclor and Malarone. These Malaria treatments are clinically proven to effectively prevent Malaria and can be ordered quickly and securely online by completing our online consultation. These treatments can also be shipped by free next-day delivery or same-day delivery to ensure that you receive your medication before beginning your travels.

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