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 Fact

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

  • How do people catch these 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?

    Fever, headache, chills and vomiting.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 anaemia, seizures, mental confusion, kidney failure, lung failure and coma.3

  • Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?

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

    • Visit your nearest convenient specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
    • 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®) 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. April 2018. Available online: (Last accessed May 2018)
  2. World Health Organization. World Malaria Report 2017. November 2017. Available online (Last accessed May 2018).
  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 2018. Chapter 2 The Pre-Travel Consultation. Counseling & Advice for Travelers. Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods. May 2017. Available online: (Last accessed May 2018)

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