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Travel websites should inform people about malaria, say doctors

Date:
January 18, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Travel websites, especially those that offer "last minute" deals, should inform people about the risks of malaria and the need to take preventative medication before traveling, say experts in infectious diseases.

Travel websites, especially those that offer 'last minute' deals, should inform people about the risks of malaria and the need to take preventative medication before travelling, say experts in infectious diseases.

Their warning, in a letter to this week's British Medical Journal, follows three recent cases of malaria in UK citizens returning from 'winter sun' holidays to the Gambia, where malaria is highly endemic.

They all used the same travel website. Two had made a late booking and all failed to take preventative drugs (chemoprophylaxis). Within two weeks of returning to the UK, they all presented to hospital with severe malaria.

Imported cases of malaria remain relatively common in the UK, say the doctors. The majority of malaria in the UK is contracted in West Africa (813 of 1,495 cases in 2009) and a significant proportion occurs in holidaymakers (57 in 2009).

They say that this risk could potentially be reduced if travel websites include explicit messages regarding the need for medical advice and effective chemoprophylaxis prior to travelling to malaria endemic areas.

"A warning about the need to allow sufficient time to organise these interventions may reduce the particular risk to individuals making late bookings," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Widdrington, J. Williams, D. R. Chadwick, B. McCarron. Travel websites should highlight malaria risks. BMJ, 2011; 342 (jan18 2): d271 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d271

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Travel websites should inform people about malaria, say doctors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118200819.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, January 18). Travel websites should inform people about malaria, say doctors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118200819.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Travel websites should inform people about malaria, say doctors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118200819.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

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