What is Malaria?
* Order the right amount of Malaria Tablets for your trip from our Superdrug Doctors.
See the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice at www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo
Our online doctor service provides a safe and convenient way of buying antimalarial drugs online. Our doctor will review your order and make sure the antimalarial medication you order is suitable for you. Prescription and delivery are included.
Which different types of malaria are there?
What is the life cycle of the malaria parasite?
- When an infected mosquito bites a person, it transmits the malaria parasite into their bloodstream, which carries it to the liver.
- The parasite multiplies in the liver of the following 7 to 10 days. During this time, the patient doesn’t have any symptoms.
- The parasite is eventually released back into the bloodstream, where it invades red blood cells. During this stage, the infection causes fever.
- The infected blood cells break open and release further parasites, causing the infection to spread. If a mosquito bites the patient at this stage, it will be infected with malaria and potentially pass the infection on to the next person they bite.
How is malaria diagnosed?
Malaria statistics - How common is malaria?
Malaria preventionIn addition to taking malaria tablets, you need to avoid exposure to the parasite by taking measures to avoid mosquito bites. Make sure you find out at much as possible about malaria in the area you are travelling to. Wearing long sleeves and trousers, using insect repellent and mosquito nets are important precautions to avoid getting bitten by a malaria-infected mosquito. You need to take your antimalarials exactly as prescribed to stay protected, including taking them for the specified period after you return from your trip. If you still develop symptoms, seek medical help immediately. You are unlikely to get infected while taking an antimalarial but infection is still possible.
Malaria occurs in over 100 countries. It is prevalent in large parts of Africa, especially Liberia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Malaria also affects travellers going to many destinations in South America, such as Brazil and Venezuela. The parasite is particularly prevalent in India and other countries on the Asian continent. Eastern Mediterranean countries such as Sudan and Pakistan are also malaria areas, as are many nations located in the Western Pacific region, for example Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. Before travelling, make sure you find out about local illnesses and health risks. The NHS Fit for Travel website is a good source for up-to-date travel health information.
Malaria guidelines are regularly updated and countries receive new risk ratings for malaria. As a result, some of the malaria risk advice on our site may be out of date. Before starting your assessment for malaria treatment, please check Fit For Travel guidance on the malaria risk in the country you’re travelling to. Neither the content on our website, nor our online assessment for malaria treatment are intended as a substitute for a full travel consultation. It is important you discuss all precautions recommended for your trip, for example you may need vaccines too – you can book a consultation here.