Malaria and its Prevention
Malaria in humans is caused by protozoan species that are transmitted
by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The
disease is characterized by fever and flu-like symptoms, including
chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. These symptoms may
occur at intervals. Malaria may be associated with anemia and jaundice,
and severe infections may cause kidney failure, coma, and death.
All travelers to malarious areas of the world are advised to use
personal protective measures and an appropriate
drug regimen to prevent malaria. In most cases, malaria chemoprophylaxis
should begin one to two weeks before travel to malarious areas.
This allows any potential side effects to be evaluated and treated
by the traveler's physician before departure. Chemoprophylaxis should
continue during travel in the malarious areas and for four weeks
after leaving the area.
In the United States, commonly prescribed drugs for the prevention
of malaria include mefloquine (Lariam), atovaquone and proguanil
hydrochloride (Malarone), chloroquine phosphate (Aralen), and doxycycline.
Alternative drugs may also be available for special circumstances.
At the ITMC, all decisions on medications for malaria prevention
are made in consultation with our travel medicine physicians, and
are individualized according to the traveler's medical history and