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HHS HealthBeat (March 31, 2014)

Keeping malaria out

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

We don’t have malaria transmission in the United States, but millions of people have malaria in other parts of the world, which means travelers can bring in the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 1,900 malaria cases were reported in the United States in 2011.

Because the malaria parasite is carried by mosquitoes, travelers can reduce their risk of infection by using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing and sleeping where the mosquitoes can’t get them – along with taking a medicine to prevent malaria.

However, the CDC’s Mateusz Plucinski says the drugs have to be taken correctly:

“The vast majority of these malaria cases and deaths are preventable and occur because travelers do not take an anti-malarial drug, take the wrong drug, or take the wrong dose.”

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 31, 2014