Malaria symptoms, causes and treatment options online

Despite the readily available treatments, Malaria still remains a serious world health problem and annually around 1,500 cases are reported in the UK. The majority of these cases include people who have returned from a holiday abroad in a notorious risk area. Taking the right medications can significantly lower a person's risk of developing an infection. However, if no preventative treatment has been used and the parasite is left untreated it can cause the victim to become seriously ill or even die.

Luckily this illness can be prevented and treated with the help of prescription medication. Starting treatment with Doxycycline, Malarone or Paludrine & Avloclor can prevent a potentially serious malaria infection.

Dr Hilary Jones Dr Hilary Jones
Medical Advisor

"If left untreated, Malaria can potentially prove to be fatal, but can easily be prevented with antimalarial treatments from OnlineClinic."

Treatment Options

Actavis Manufactured byDoxycycline Malaria
 Doxycycline is an antibiotic treatment that is also effective as an antimalarial medication. It should be taken two days before the commencement of travel to an at-risk area, during the trip itself and for four days after returning. It is usually recommended to people travelling to areas where traditional antimalarial treatments are no longer effective.
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GlaxoSmithKline Manufactured byMalarone
Malarone is an effective antimalarial medication that can be taken to prevent malaria by people travelling to at-risk areas of the world. A course of Malarone treatment should begin two days before travel and continue for the duration of the trip and for two weeks after you return.
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AstraZeneca Manufactured byPaludrine & Avloclor
Paludrine & Avloclor are two medications that form an effective combination treatment for malaria. This combination antimalarial treatment is usually recommended to people travelling to malaria-prone areas where there is not yet resistance to chloroquine.
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What is it?

Malaria is a tropical disease that destroys red blood cells and eventually affects the liver and in very rare cases the brain. The parasite that causes it is passed amongst humans with the help of a non-human carrier, the female anopheles mosquito. There are four different types of parasites, namely Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae, of which Plasmodium falciparum is the most likely to be dangerous or deadly.

Once the parasite is inside the body, it starts to infiltrate healthy blood cells, using the healthy cells to multiply and eventually causing them to burst. Each time a healthy cell bursts, the parasite spreads to even more healthy cells, until eventually the parasite reaches the liver where it can lay dormant, launching sporadic attacks on your system.

In which parts of the world is it most common?

The anopheles mosquito lives in hot tropical climates, which is why it's most common in parts of South America, Central America, Middle East, Caribbean, Oceania, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Central Asia.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can start appearing anything from 10 to 15 days after you've been infected, and for up to a year later, depending on the type of parasite. Being infected by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite usually leads to the onset of symptoms relatively quickly after you've been bittern. If you've just come back from holiday and you experience the following side effects it's advisable to speak to your doctor as soon as possible: high fever, a cough, nausea, headaches, sweats, chills and general feeling of malaise.

What complications can it lead to?

If this disease is left untreated for too long it can eventually lead to serious health problems such as anaemia, breathing problems, liver failure, low blood sugar, kidney failure, dehydration or a condition known as cerebral malaria, which is when infected red blood cells constrict blood flow to the brain.

Is it treatable or preventable?

Malaria is treatable; however it's better to prevent an infection than to undergo treatment, which can take time. Anti-malarial medications, also used in the treatment of this illness, can be used to prevent an infection. These treatments usually work by either preventing the parasite from defending itself against your body's immune system or multiplying. The most commonly used malaria treatments include: Doxycycline, Malarone and Paludrine & Avloclor. All of these treatments need to be started before you leave for your holiday, and continued until after you return. Malarone and Doxycycline is usually recommended for places where the malaria parasite has managed to develop a resistance.