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25th April - World Malaria Day

Published by Roxanna Langstaff on 25/04/2013

Malaria is a tropical disease found in more than 100 countries around the world. It is spread to humans through mosquitoes and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Symptoms include a high temperature, vomiting, sweats and chills, muscle pain, headaches and diarrhoea. In 2010 there were an estimated 216 million cases causing 655,000 deaths around the world. Of those figures 1,700 UK travellers were diagnosed with the disease upon returning home and seven of those people died.

With such a huge number of people being affected by this disease it’s no wonder that the World Health Organisation have a day dedicated to raising awareness of it, which is today, Thursday the 25th of April.

We don’t have Malaria in the UK or Isle of Man, why do we need to know about it?

More and more people travel to more exotic, far flung locations for their holidays so it’s important to raise awareness of the dangers of this disease as it can be easily avoided. You may be surprised by some of the places where Malaria is a risk so make sure that you check wherever you are going.

People going backpacking often choose to visit many of these locations and therefore this group of travellers need to be made aware of this. 

Where am I at risk from Malaria?

Malaria is found in more than 100 countries including:

  • Large areas of Africa
  • Parts of Asia
  • Central and South America
  • Haiti and the Dominican Republic
  • Parts of the Middle East
  • Some Pacific Islands 

How can I protect myself against Malaria?

Follow these simple steps to reduce the risk of getting Malaria and ensuring that you are treated quickly if you are infected

  • Do your research - check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website, learn about where you’re visiting and speak to your Doctor to make sure that your holiday destination doesn’t carry a threat of Malaria (or other diseases you need to be immunised against).
  • Medication - if your destination does present a risk of Malaria then get antimalarial tablets from your GP. There are different types of antimalaira medication depending on where you’re going.
  • Avoid bites - avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes while you’re on holiday by using the appropriate insect repellent, covering your arms and legs, and using a insecticide-treated mosquito net. For more prevention tips check out the help on the NHS website.
  • Diagnosis - if you present with any malaria symptoms while on holiday or when you return (up to a year after your trip) make sure that you get urgent medical assistance.
  • Travel Insurance - make sure that you have good Travel Insurance with good health cover. This means that if you do present with symptoms while away you can get 24 hour medical assistance over the phone to help you get medical help locally and you won’t be landed with a big medical bill. Get a quote and buy your Single Trip Travel Insurance or Annual cover with 

Will Cheap Travel Insurance give me the cover I need?

Choosing your Travel Insurance purely on price is not advisable. You need to make sure that you check the schedule of benefits before purchasing the policy to ensure that the level of cover meets your requirements. Then, once you’ve purchased your policy, you should read through all the policy documentation to ensure that the cover being provided is suitable for your individual circumstances.

With Kestrel Travel Insurance you have a 14 day cooling off period (for annual cover this is providing that you don’t go on holiday within that time and for single trip cover this is providing that the date of departure isn’t within this time) so if the policy doesn’t meet your needs you can get a refund.

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Kestrel Travel Insurance is a trading name of Kestrel Insurance Service Ltd. | Registered with the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority as an Insurance Intermediary in Respect of General Business. | Company Registration No. 42506. | Registered Address 50 Bucks Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3AD | Copyright © Kestrel Insurance Services Ltd - 2012