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Quimioprofilaxis de la malaria

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Malaria Chemoprophylaxis - Rightangled

What is Quimioprofilaxis de la malaria?

La malaria es una enfermedad potencialmente mortal causada por la infección de los glóbulos rojos por parásitos. La transmisión de la malaria a los humanos se produce a través de la picadura de mosquitos hembra infectados. La malaria no es una infección que se encuentre en el Reino Unido, sin embargo, se puede encontrar en países tropicales o subtropicales. Si cree que ha sido infectado con malaria, es crucial que se comunique con el departamento de emergencias más cercano, pero si está buscando viajar a un área del mundo con riesgo de malaria, en Rightangle encontrará medicamentos preventivos efectivos.

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Causes

Malaria is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. These mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasites, which enter the bloodstream upon a mosquito bite. Once in the bloodstream, the parasites travel to the liver, multiply, and then re-enter the bloodstream to infect red blood cells, leading to the characteristic symptoms of malaria, including fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. The risk of contracting malaria is higher in regions where the Anopheles mosquitoes are prevalent and the disease is endemic. Travelers to these areas are particularly vulnerable, as they lack immunity to the local strains of the parasite.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing malaria involves a medical evaluation and laboratory tests. Symptoms of malaria can vary and may resemble other illnesses, so a definitive diagnosis is crucial for appropriate treatment. The diagnostic process may include:

- Medical History: The healthcare provider will inquire about recent travel to malaria-endemic areas and any symptoms experienced.

- Physical Examination: A physical exam will be conducted to assess symptoms, fever, and other signs of illness.

- Blood Tests: Laboratory tests, such as a blood smear, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or rapid diagnostic tests, can identify the presence of Plasmodium parasites and determine the species causing the infection.

Treatments

Malaria chemoprophylaxis involves the use of specific medications to prevent the development of the disease. The choice of medication depends on factors such as the destination, the traveler's health status, and any drug interactions. Commonly used medications for malaria chemoprophylaxis include:

- Chloroquine: In regions with chloroquine-sensitive malaria, chloroquine may be prescribed. However, resistance to chloroquine has developed in certain areas.

- Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone): This combination medication is effective against chloroquine-resistant strains of the parasite and is often recommended for travelers to these regions

- Doxycycline: Doxycycline is an option for malaria prevention and is particularly suitable for travelers unable to take other medications, such as pregnant women.

- Mefloquine: Mefloquine is another option for travelers but is typically reserved for cases where other options are not suitable due to side effects or contraindications.

- Primaquine: This medication is used to prevent relapse of Plasmodium vivax or Plasmodium ovale infections. It should be used with caution and under medical supervision due to the risk of side effects.

Prevention

In addition to chemoprophylaxis, there are other measures individuals can take to reduce the risk of contracting malaria:

Mosquito Bite Prevention: Using insect repellents, wearing long-sleeved clothing, and sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets can help prevent mosquito bites.

Stay Informed: Before traveling to a malaria-endemic area, research the specific risks and recommendations for malaria prevention in that region.

Timely Diagnosis and Treatment: If you develop symptoms of malaria, seek medical attention promptly to ensure timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Personal Protection Measures: Take precautions to minimize mosquito exposure, such as staying indoors during peak mosquito activity times.

Consult a Healthcare Provider: Before traveling to a malaria-endemic area, consult a healthcare provider or travel medicine specialist to receive personalized advice on malaria prevention and suitable chemoprophylaxis options.

In conclusion, malaria chemoprophylaxis is a vital strategy for preventing the transmission of malaria in individuals at risk, especially those traveling to malaria-endemic regions. Understanding the causes, diagnosis, available treatments, and prevention measures is essential for ensuring the well-being of travelers and residents alike. Consulting a healthcare provider before travel and adhering to recommended preventive measures can help minimize the risk of contracting malaria and contribute to a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Further info

Read more about Malaria Chemoprophylaxis on NHS website, following the link below:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/malaria/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/malaria-prevention-guidelines-for-travellers-from-the-uk

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FAQs

¿Qué es la malaria?

La malaria es una enfermedad potencialmente mortal causada por parásitos que se transmiten a las personas a través de la picadura de mosquitos hembra infectados. Sin embargo, es prevenible y curable. Las personas que contraen paludismo suelen estar muy enfermas con escalofríos, fiebre alta y síntomas similares a los de la gripe. Se estima que hubo 627 000 muertes por malaria y 241 millones de casos de malaria en 2020. Hay 5 especies de parásitos que causan malaria en humanos, sin embargo, las especies P. falciparum y P. vivax representan la mayor amenaza.

¿Cómo se transmite la malaria?

Solo los mosquitos Anopheles hembra pueden transmitir la malaria. Cuando un mosquito pica a una persona infectada, los parásitos ingresan al torrente sanguíneo de esa persona y viajan al hígado. Cuando los parásitos maduran, abandonan el hígado e infectan los glóbulos rojos. Si un mosquito pica a una persona que tiene malaria, puede portar la infección y transmitir el parásito a la próxima persona que pique. La mejor manera de prevenir contraer la enfermedad es evitar las picaduras de insectos y tomar pastillas antipalúdicas.

¿Cómo prevenir la malaria?

Primero, verifique el riesgo de malaria para el país al que viaja antes de viajar. No será inmune a la malaria si nació o vivió en un país de alto riesgo y ahora vive en el Reino Unido. Puede encontrar más información sobre el riesgo de malaria en países específicos haciendo clic en el siguiente enlace: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries Si viaja a un área de alto riesgo donde se encuentra malaria, no dude en reservar un consulta con nuestro farmacéutico prescriptor para brindarle los consejos de salud adecuados para viajes. Si le recetan medicamentos antipalúdicos, es importante que los tome según las indicaciones. Si ingresa a un área de alto riesgo de malaria, siempre use repelente de insectos en la piel y asegúrese de que sea un 50 % a base de DEET. Debe usar ropa de manga larga y evitar exponer los brazos y las piernas, especialmente por la noche, cuando los mosquitos están más activos. También puedes intentar dormir bajo mosquiteros tratados con insecticida.

¿Quién está más en riesgo?

Hay personas que corren un mayor riesgo de enfermarse gravemente de malaria. Esto incluye: niños pequeños, ancianos, mujeres embarazadas, personas que no tienen bazo y personas que tienen un sistema inmunológico débil. En estos casos, el médico puede recetar medicamentos contra la malaria a pesar de viajar a una zona de bajo riesgo.

Medically reviewed & approved

This page was medically reviewed by Dr Sohaib Imtiaz (clinical lead) |

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