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How to Protect Your Body from Malaria Your Health is our Priority

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If your travel plans are taking you to the Caribbean or other sun destinations, you 
may be at risk for malaria. Many people believe they've been vaccinated for malaria 
when currently there is no malaria vaccine available. And all it can take is one bite 
from an infected mosquito to become infected and sick with malaria. In fact, more 
than 10,000 worldwide travelers fall ill with malaria after returning home from malaria-
endemic areas.

Of course, nothing beats a beach vacation - especially during the long Canadian 
winter. But it's important to make sure you come home with memories, not malaria.

That's why the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends you avoid 
mosquito bites and take steps to help prevent malaria infection.

One of those steps may be to take medication. Your doctor will determine which one 
is right for you based on a number of factors, such as:

Your destination. Different regions have different types of malaria parasites. Your 
doctor will need to know where you will be traveling in order to prescribe the 
antimalarial most appropriate for your destination.

Your medical history. All antimalarials can cause side effects, but some should not be 
taken if you have certain medical conditions. Let your doctor know of any medical 
problems you have or have had in the past, and provide a list of all the prescription 
or non-prescription medications you are currently taking.

Your date of departure. Dosing schedules are different for each antimalarial 
medication. Some are taken 1-2 weeks in advance, and others can be taken 1-3 days 
before you travel. Your date of departure will help your doctor decide which dosing 
schedule is most appropriate for you. Remember: It's never too late to help protect 
yourself against malaria. Some medications only need to be started a few days 
before you travel.

Your personal preference regarding the length of therapy. Taking your antimalarial 
medication exactly as prescribed is very important. Some medications are taken 
weekly, and continued for a few weeks upon your return. Others must be taken daily, 
but for a shorter period of time. Talk to your doctor about the treatment schedule 
that meets your personal needs.

Your private insurance plan. Although costs for some antimalarials are not reimbursed 
by the government, they are often covered by private insurance. Let your doctor 
know if you have a private or public insurance plan.