OVERALL APPROACH TO MALARIA PREVENTION
The risk of malaria can be reduced by regular use of measures that limit contact with mosquitoes and by strict adherence to chemoprophylaxis. To help travelers adhere to these recommendations, thorough pre-travel advice must be provided by their health care providers. Even a brief exposure in an endemic area puts the unprotected traveler at risk. All travelers to endemic areas need to be aware of the threat of malaria in their destination and understand how to prevent it. Since no preventive regimen is completely effective, travelers should also know to seek medical attention urgently should they become febrile during or after their trip.
In summary, the overall approach to malaria prevention should consist of the following four principles:
– Assess the risk of malaria infection on the basis of itinerary.
– Discuss the available methods to reduce contact with Anopheles mosquitoes.
– Identify the most appropriate antimalarials for chemoprophylaxis.
– Alert the traveler to seek early diagnosis and treatment if fever develops during or after travel.
These principles provide a framework for the clinician to follow when counseling on malaria prevention during any pre-travel patient visit.
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