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4 Malaria Prevention Tips From HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA

HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, has been committed to keeping their community vaccinated and well informed since 1992. Over the last 23 years, HealthSmartVaccines has helped thousands of patients with vaccinations, immunizations, and flu shots & clinics. They are also a leading source for educating travelers on malaria prevention. Here are four tips from the expert team at HealthSmartVaccines for preventing malaria:

Awareness: Malaria is a severe infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Many travelers are infected every year, but most cases are preventable. The very first step is awareness. Before you embark on an exciting international journey, do your research and find out if there is any risk of contracting malaria while you visit.

Avoidance: If you have determined your destination is a high-risk area for malaria, stock up on supplies. Buy plenty of insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET. Invest in sleep netting so you’re protected overnight, and pack clothes that will protect your skin from exposure. Shorts and tank tops might seem weather appropriate, but long pants and long sleeves will offer much better protection.

Vaccines: There are various antimalarial drugs and vaccines on the market. The right vaccine for you depends on the country you’ll be visiting and your personal concerns with the frequency of dosing and potential side effects. It’s best to consult with HealthSmartVaccines to find what’s right for your needs.
Post-travel Check: Upon your return, be aware of any malaria symptoms. If you’re experiencing fever, respiratory illness, rash, or diarrhea, contact your healthcare provider right away and inform them of your recent travels.

If you live near Chantilly, Virginia and you’re looking for travel vaccines, call HealthSmartVaccines today at (703) 961-0733.

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Malaria Prevention

Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, just as Yellow Fever and Dengue Fever are, and it is considered one of the most severe infectious diseases that travelers could encounter. Likely, most cases of Malaria are preventable! The best methods of prevention are awareness of risk, avoidance of mosquito bits, and chemoprophylaxis (antimalarial medication).

Awareness: Research the area that you will be visiting and determine if there is a risk of contracting malaria. This can be done by visiting the CDCs website or by calling a travel health clinic.

Avoidance: Once you determine that malaria is present in the country you are traveling to then it is time to do some shopping. The best methods of prevention are insect repellents.

– Wear protective clothing (Make sure you cover as must body surface area as possible to reduce exposed skin.)

– Apply insect repellents as directed by the manufacturer (The best insect repellent is one that contains 20%-50% DEET. Other active ingredients that are recommended are Picaridin and Lemon Eucalyptus.).

– Sleep in areas protected by screens and netting. Netting impregnated with a residual insecticide provide the best protection.

Chemoprophylaxis: There are many options when it comes to antimalarial drugs, determining which one will work best for you is dependent on two things: what country you are visiting and your concern with frequency of dosing and potential side effects. The best  way to determine what will work best for you is by contacting a travel health clinic.

If upon return (up to one year after traveling) from your trip you are experiencing any signs and symptoms of illness (example: fever, diarrhea, respiratory illness or rash) please be sure to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. It is important to inform your provider of your recent travels to aid them in determining the cause of your symptoms.

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