Malaria warning for travellers

20 December 2011 20:35

Anti-malaria tablets have been advised for people travelling to Nigeria and Ghana

Anti-malaria tablets have been advised for people travelling to Nigeria and Ghana

Britons going away on winter sun holidays to destinations known for malaria have been advised to take anti-malaria tablets.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has warned people particularly travelling to West African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana to seek protection against the disease, even over the winter months.

The HPA said that almost a fifth of malaria cases in travellers arriving in the UK are detected during the months of December and January.

This highlights the importance of taking out comprehensive medical travel insurance before visiting such areas.

A total of 348 cases have been reported in travellers returning from Nigeria so far this year, with a further 170 cases in those returning from Ghana.

Dr Jane Jones, a travel health expert at the HPA, said: "All travellers to malaria risk areas - whether native to that country or not - need to be aware of the risk when travelling.

"Pre-travel medical advice should be sought from a GP or a travel clinic at least six weeks before travel and travellers must take medication before, during and after their trip, as well as anti-mosquito precautions while they are away, to keep safe."

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