Travellers heading to Asia should be aware that there have been reports that a drug-resistant form of Malaria is spreading across Thailand, and therefore it is of paramount importance that they have the correct travel health insurance.
According to a report in New Scientist, malaria parasites in west Thailand are becoming resistant to the most effective antimalarial drugs, with response time to treatment doubling in some cases. This appears to be the latest news instalment from a problem that was first identified in Cambodia as far back as 2006.
The greatest concern in the scientific community is firstly that the problem will continue to spread to Africa, where the highest number of deaths from Malaria occur; and secondly, that the enhanced genetic resistance of parasites in Cambodia will render the use of current drugs futile.
In the meantime however, travellers need to know how best to deal with the risk whilst travelling in Thailand. Firstly, make sure that you have taken the right antimalarial medicines, and that you have taken them correctly, secondly, ensure that you have the right travel insurance for your journey, as in the event that the medication does not work well enough, immediate medical attention is essential – in fact, it is potentially lifesaving.
Symptoms of Malaria are similar to that of flu including:
- Fever or high temperature
- Muscle pain
- Sweats and chills
- Generally feeling unwell
According to UK studies most UK Travellers that catch Malaria (around 1,500 per year) do so either because they have not taken the right medication for the part of the world they are visiting, or they have not taken Malaria medication at all. For more information about Malaria, visit the NHS advice page: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Malaria/Pages/Symptoms.aspx