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PHE releases revised guidelines for malaria prevention

Public Health England (PHE) Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) has released revisions to the Guidelines for Malaria Prevention in Travellers from the UK.

The publication will be used by healthcare professionals, although it is accessible at all levels and may be of interest for those abroad.

It covers all the topics involved in preventing malaria and includes:

- Awareness of risk

- Bite prevention

- Chemoprophylaxis (antimalarial drugs)

- Diagnose promptly and treatment without delay

Malaria expert at the PHE Malaria Reference Laboratory, Professor Peter Chiodini said: “The guidelines answer frequently asked questions, and include advice for the prevention of malaria in the presence of co-existing medical conditions, such as epilepsy. Key revisions to the guidelines have been made in the following contexts: general malaria prevention, country recommendations, anti-malarial drug information and special risk groups.”

Travel and migrant health expert at PHE, Dr Jane Jones underline the importance of these recommendations for people travelling to Africa or Asia.

She said: “In 2013, there were 1,501 cases of imported malaria reported in the UK. Malaria remains an important travel-associated infection, which particularly affects people travelling to visit friends and relatives, especially in Africa and Asia.

“Anyone who is travelling to a country where malaria is present should seek pre-travel advice from their general practice or travel health clinic about taking appropriate anti-malarial medication and other necessary measures to protect themselves, especially insect bite avoidance. Severe complications of malaria can be rapidly fatal. Anyone with symptoms (usually flu-like or a fever), either while abroad or after they return home, must get immediate medical help.”

The revised malaria guidelines are available at PHE's website.