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Malaria Warnings On The Rise in UK

Health experts are raising awareness on Malaria as new cases have been found in Britain, with renewed calls for people traveling to malaria affected areas to take anti-malarial medication.//

The warning from the Health Protection Agency comes after three more people from Britain were diagnosed with malaria.

There have been a total of nine cases since mid-November, and two people returning from Gambia died. None of the nine had followed medical advice to take anti-malarial medication, says the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Malaria is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes, which pass on a parasite into their victim's bloodstream. Prof. Peter Chiodini, a malaria expert from the HPA, says to the news agency, "We are strongly urging British travelers heading to malarious destinations, such as The Gambia, to seek pre-travel medical advice and to take the anti-malarial medication that they should be prescribed prior to, during and after their trip."

HPA is particularly concerned about people going to Gambia in West Africa. It said people must take the tablets prior to traveling, while abroad and for a period after returning in order to be protected against malaria.

The number of people returning to Britain with falciparum malaria, the most severe form of the disease, has grown from about 250 cases in 1977 to up to 1,500 annually in recent years.

Prof Chiodini said, "We ask that travellers also avoid mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent and cover-up clothing and sleep under an insecticide-treated net in conjunction with taking anti-malarial medication to ensuring they adequately protect themselves against the disease."


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