Rise in malaria cases in the UK

28 April 2011 12:38

New figures showed a near-30% rise in the number of malaria cases over the past two years

New figures showed a near-30% rise in the number of malaria cases over the past two years

Britons planning to go abroad have been urged to seek travel advice and carry anti-malaria drugs with them, after new figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) showed a near-30% rise in the number of infections over the past two years.

Those going abroad should also ensure that they have taken out comprehensive travel insurance to cover themselves for illness and other problems.

A total of 1,761 malaria cases were reported in the UK last year, compared with 1,495 in 2009 and 1,370 in 2008, according to the HPA figures, released to mark World Malaria Day.

Of the 997 cases where information was available, 850 involved people who did not take anti-malaria drugs while on holiday or when visiting friends and family in places where the disease is prevalent.

Over the past 10 years, nearly 50% of malaria infections recorded in the UK occurred among people who visited West Africa and India.

Four out of 10 cases in 2010 were among UK residents who had visited Nigeria or Ghana, while over a tenth (11%) were among those who had travelled to India.

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and it only takes one bite to become infected.

Five different types of anti-malaria drugs are available from UK GPs for Britons travelling abroad.

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