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Malaria risk warning to travellers

The risk of malaria to holidaymakers is not being taken seriously enough, health experts have warned.

Infectious disease specialists at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield said that the travel industry had "an obligation to improve the quantity and quality of malaria advice it provides."

They said that British travel organisation Abta gave no specific guidance to holiday companies about malaria, nor did the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recommend airlines to offer health advice to passengers.

And only 12 of 27 British tour brochures featuring malarial African countries even mentioned the disease or treatments.

In a letter in the British Medical Journal, they said: "Such literature would be an ideal place to target advice to travellers, and our results show that this opportunity is being missed."

It said people travelling to visit relatives in malarious countries are unlikely to be exposed to any relevant health advice at all prior to travelling.

The letter said: "We believe that the travel industry has an obligation to improve the quantity and quality of malaria advice it provides in its brochures and other promotional publications, with particular emphasis on malaria prevention where appropriate."

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British Medical Journal