A deadly disease which can infect travellers through mosquito bite. It causes fever, headache and chills. People travelling to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America are at risk.

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Key Facts around Malaria

In 2016 nearly half the world’s population were at risk of malaria.1

  • How do people catch this disease?

    When they’re bitten by infected mosquitoes which carry the malaria parasite.1

  • Which countries are affected?

    Most countries in Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia (see map).2

  • What are the symptoms?

    Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills muscle aches and general malaise.1

  • How serious is the disease?

    Prompt treatment means that most people recover completely. But malaria is a severe and potentially fatal disease, so quick diagnosis and treatment are vital. Severe cases can lead to Seizures, confusion, renal failure, acute respiratory failure, coma and death.3

  • Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?

    You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:

    • Visit a travel health clinic to assess the risks of the planned trip and get advice about available vaccinations and further precautions.
      Click here to find your nearest travel health clinic and make an appointment:
    • Take steps to avoid mosquito bites when mosquitoes are most active (dawn and dusk)4
    • Use a recommended insect repellent containing either 20% Icaridin (e.g Moskito Guard®, for more information please see or 50% DEET.1
    • Wear appropriate clothing (e.g long-sleeved clothes and long trousers)4
    • Use physical barriers, such as bed nets and window screens4
  1. World Health Organization. Factsheet. Malaria. January 2020. Available online: (Last accessed September 2020)
  2. World Health Organization. World Malaria Report 2017. November 2017. Available online (Last accessed September 2020).
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2018. Chapter 3 Infectious Diseases Related to Travel. Malaria. June 2017. Available online: (Last accessed May 2018)
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow Book 2020. Chapter 3 Environmental Hazards & Other Noninfectious Health Risks. Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods.. Available online: (Last accessed September 2018)

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