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?According to the WHO, there were 219 million cases of malaria in 2017 which resulted in 435,000 deaths worldwide. However, it is assumed that the actual number of malaria cases is much higher, as many cases won’t be reported or diagnosed.
Malaria tabletsMalaria tablets are taken to prevent the illness when travelling to an area where the parasite is common, so the risk of getting malaria is considered high. The two more popular medications used to prevent the illness are Malarone and Doxycycline. Which medication is best for you depends on a few different things, including your medical history. The different antimalarials have different side effects too. They also differ in price and the duration of the required course. Depending on the country you are travelling to, a particular antimalarial drug may be required. (The malaria parasite in some parts of the world has developed a resistance to certain medications). Our online doctors can advise you on which medicine to order.
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 occurred in 87 countries in 2017. It is prevalent in large parts of Africa, including Liberia, Mozambique and Tanzania. The parasite is also prevalent in parts of India and some other countries on the Asian continent. Before travelling, make sure you find out about local illnesses and health risks. The Travel Health Pro 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 up to date 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.