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Can Malaria Be Prevented?
Malaria can often be prevented by the use of antimalarial drugs and use of protection measures against mosquito bites.
When planning to travel to an area where malaria occurs, talk with your doctor well in advance of your departure. Drugs to prevent malaria can be prescribed for travelers to malarious areas, but travelers from different countries may receive different recommendations, reflecting differences in treatment protocols as well as availability of medicines in different countries. Travelers visiting only cities or rural areas where there is no risk of malaria may not require preventive drugs, but an exact itinerary is necessary to determine what degree of protection may be needed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several medications recommended for prevention of malaria in travelers. Determining which medication is best depends on several factors, such as your medical history and the amount of time before your scheduled departure. Strict adherence to the recommended doses and schedules of the antimalarial drug selected is necessary for effective protection.
Protection from mosquitoes
Be aware that you are still at risk for malaria even with the use of protection.
To avoid mosquito bites, the CDC recommends the following:
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. The recommended repellent contains 20-35% percent N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET).
- Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants if you are outdoors at night.
- Use a mosquito net over the bed if your bedroom is not air-conditioned or screened. For additional protection, treat the mosquito net with the insecticide permethrin.
- Spray an insecticide or repellent on clothing, as mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.
- Spray pyrethrin or a similar insecticide in your bedroom before going to bed.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.