According to the WHO, preventing Malaria is as simple as ABCD. This is their prevention outline:
- Be Aware of the malarial risks you face in the country, the symptoms and the incubation period.
- Avoid being Bitten by mosquitoes, especially between dusk and dawn.
- Comply with appropriate prophylactic medication.
- Seek immediate Diagnosis and treatment if you are experiencing a fever one week or more in the country you’ve traveled to.
How should I prepare? Keeping in mind the WHO strategy as outlined above, protecting yourself against malaria is mostly about common sense. Here are some other tips:
- Strategize about what to pack. Since malaria is spread through mosquitoes, you can take simple measures to stop yourself being bitten, such as wearing long-sleeved and trouser-length clothes during the evening and using mosquito repellents and nets.
- If traveling to a high-risk area, prepare yourself accordingly (note that many high-risk areas will have strains of multi-drug resistant malaria so make sure you check with your doctor that you have the correct medication).
- Talk to your doctor openly about the real risks of contracting the disease in your travels. Remember that anti-malarials can be expensive, have nasty side effects and are not 100% effective so make sure you need to be taking them.
- Go to online forums to read about other traveler experiences with malaria-affected countries.
Where can I get more information? For fact sheets and a list of malaria-affected countries and preventative measures you can go also go to the Center for Disease Control.