What is Malaria?
Malaria is a tropical disease spread by night-biting mosquitoes found in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia and the Pacific islands.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, and it only takes a single bite from an infected mosquito for you to become infected with the disease.
The most dangerous type of malaria is malaria caused by the falciparum parasite, which develops very rapidly and can lead to death.
How common is Malaria?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there were 243 million cases and nearly 1 million deaths from malaria in 2008.
Approximately 1,500 travellers return to the UK with malaria every year. Most of the malaria imported is caused by the falciparum parasite acquired in Africa.
What are the symptoms of Malaria?
Symptoms of malaria usually appear 10-15 days after being bitten, but it can take up to a year for symptoms to show. Symptoms of malaria are similar to flu symptoms and include a high temperature, sweats and chills, muscle pains, headaches and diarrhoea.
How is Malaria treated?
Treatment of malaria varies depending on the type of malaria. Treatment usually includes medication, either in tablet form or intravenously, and a stay in hospital.
If access to Specialist Treatment centres is important, choose a policy with London Hospital coverage.