Do I need malaria tablets if I use a mosquito net and repellent?

This depends on which country you are travelling to. If you are travelling to a low-risk area, a mosquito net and repellent should be adequate. But in higher risk areas, malaria tablets should be used alongside mosquito avoidance i.e. nets and repellent. Mosquito avoidance also protects you against other mosquito-borne diseases, such as Dengue fever.

Where are the lower risk areas?

Mosquito avoidance is recommended, but you are not likely to need malaria medication to visit the following countries:

Belize, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Oman, Saudi Arabia,Tajikistan, Western Sahara.

Some areas of countries may be higher risk than others. Mosquito avoidance may be adequate for certain areas of:

Burma, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Suriname, Thailand, Vietnam

Speak to a doctor, or use the CDC guidelines to see if you need antimalarials for the areas you are visiting.

 

How to avoid mosquitos?

  1. Use a mosquito net when you sleep. This should be long enough to reach the floor and should be tucked under your mattress. Ensure there are no tears or holes in the net. The net should also be treated with insect repellent.

  2. Apply insect repellent to your skin. These can be purchased in most pharmacies, especially in countries where mosquitoes are prevalent. Follow the application instructions on the label.

  3. Use insect repellents in your accommodation. These come in the form of candles and sprays. They are different from the insect repellents you would apply to your skin.

  4. Try to keep your skin covered, especially at night.

  5. If it’s available, use air conditioning, as this reduces the room temperature and your risk of being bitten by mosquitos.

 

Sources:

Dr Felix > Which malaria medication do I need?

Superdrug > Malaria Prophylaxis 

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) > Malaria Information by Country

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