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Monday 17th June 2019

Malaria soars among UK travellers

26th April 2011

Cases of malaria infections among residents of the UK have risen significantly.


The Health Protection Agency figures, released on World Malaria Day, point to an increase of almost 30% over the past two years, with most of the cases among people who have visited West Africa or South Asia.

Malaria is the world’s second biggest killer with almost a million deaths in 2008 from 247 million cases of malaria.

In the UK in 2008 there were 1,370 new cases, rising to 1,495 in 2009.

In 2010 there were 1,761 new cases and almost 40% of UK residents who contracted the disease had visited either Nigeria or Ghana, while 11% had been to India.

The HPA is concerned those who caught malaria had not sought advice on malaria prevention or thought they were not at risk in the area they were travelling to.

Professor Peter Chiodini, who heads the HPA’s malaria reference laboratory, said: “Anyone who is travelling to a country where malaria is present should take travel advice and appropriate medication.

“Even people living in Britain visiting the country in which they were born or grew up, or have previously visited, are not immune from malaria and should take precautions.”

Malaria has symptoms which include a flu-like illness, fever, shaking, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea but is a preventable condition.

Dr Jane Jones, head of the HPA’s travel and migrant health section, said those planning to travel to a tropical area should seek advice from a GP or travel health clinic.


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