IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Malaria

Garlic. Photo by Lobo Studio Hamburg.

True or false? Common travel health myths

This year, we introduced a new feature on social media: the Myth of the Month. Every month, we share a travel health myth and set the record straight with current recommendations from travel health professionals. Have you heard any of these travel health myths? Myth #1: “Eating garlic prevents mosquito bites.” False! (But it may keep your travel companions away…) There is no scientific evidence that garlic prevents mosquito bites. The best insect bite protection comes from a combination of: Physical barriers: Wearing breathable, light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing. Chemical protection: Using insect repellent containing 20-30% DEET or 20% Picaridin. Bed nets: Sleeping or resting under a bed net in areas where there is a risk of Malaria, Chagas or other ...

Map of malaria risk areas

World Malaria Day 2016: Updates for travellers

Malaria updates for travellers What will you do to end Malaria? Today is World Malaria Day and we’ve updated our Malaria resources! Our World Malaria Risk Chart outlines risk areas around the world, including locations affected by drug-resistant Malaria. The April 2016 edition provides more detail and additional notes about which areas are risk free and where risk is present. We’ve added additional detail for specific regions in Bhutan, Colombia, the Philippines, and Swaziland. The How To Protect Yourself Against Malaria whitepaper gives you an in-depth look at the Malaria parasite’s lifecycle, the behaviour of the Anopheles mosquito, insect bite prevention measures, and antimalarial drug recommendations. Fighting fake medications Fake antimalarial medications are a big problem in many countries ...

Piotr Młynarczyk travel health basics

Travel Health Basics: Before You Go

Planning a healthy trip Nobody wants to think about getting sick abroad when they could be scoping out the best sights to see. However, being informed about health risks at your destination and learning what you can do to avoid them are key to planning a memorable trip. Travel health is about prevention and common sense. Be aware of health issues that may arise and take appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you’re travelling, not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip. The tips below will help you determine how far in advance you need to prepare, which immunizations and medications you’ll need, and why other travellers may ...

Malaria map 2015

From DEET to doxy: Malaria information for travellers

In time for World Malaria Day, we’ve just published our 2015 editions of the World Malaria Risk Chart and How to Protect Yourself Against Malaria. Not sure if you’re going to a country with malaria? The World Malaria Risk Chart provides detailed descriptions of malaria areas around the world and drug choices for malaria prevention, including information on the maximum altitude that malaria parasites are found, the main mosquito vectors, and the incidence of Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly form of the 5 malaria parasites to cause illness in humans. Notable changes this year – Argentina, Costa Rica, Egypt, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, and Sri Lanka no longer report malaria cases. How to Protect Yourself Against Malaria discusses the behaviour and ...

5 Must-Read Articles on Climate Change and Infectious Diseases

Ever wonder how climate change impacts you as a traveller? Delays and unexpected costs related to extreme weather events, loss of biodiversity, and elevated air pollution levels are some of the things you may experience during your travels. The impact of climate change on our health extends beyond respiratory illnesses, increased heat strokes, and water shortages. Epidemiologists and evolutionary biologists have been sounding the alarm on the rise of infectious diseases for a long time.  In recent years we’ve seen a spike in vector-borne diseases which are also spreading to new regions. Here are a few that we’ve been tracking: Appearance of Chikungunya in the Caribbean Locally acquired Dengue in southern Florida, southern France, Italy, Portugal, and Japan West ...

How to choose a good mosquito net

If you’re travelling to a malaria-endemic area, a mosquito net should be on your list of essential travel supplies. Malaria is transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito that bites humans from dusk to dawn. The Anopheles mosquito is stealthy and silent. They don’t buzz so you can’t hear them approaching. This means you are a prime target when you are most vulnerable — asleep. Bed nets are a key defence against malaria, but they also offer protection from other diseases such as filariasis (known for massive swelling of the limbs) and other insects and arachnids like ticks, beetles, flies, and spiders. Remember that in malarious areas, bedrooms without tightly-fitting screens or broken screens require insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets, except ...

tablets counterfeit medications alaasafei

Are you savvy about counterfeit medications?

If you’re travelling on a shoestring budget, one cost-saving tip you’ll hear from other travellers is to buy cheaper vaccines and medications once you reach your destination. Not only is this a bad idea, it can be very dangerous due to the vast amount of counterfeit medications on the global market. Medications are closely regulated in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union and are unlikely to be counterfeit. In other countries, however, counterfeit medications may represent up to 30% of the total medications available in the country. What are counterfeit medications? Counterfeit (or falsified) medications are those which are deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled. This includes products that contain toxic chemicals, the wrong ingredients, ...

Your chance to participate in a malaria study

Are you planning to travel to a malaria endemic country? Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute want to hear from you! Below is a description of the study: La version française suit le texte anglais The Ottawa Malaria Decision Aid Project The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, in collaboration with Health Canada, is conducting a study to evaluate the best way to prepare travelers for the decision about which malaria pills to take. If this research is of interest to you, you may be eligible to participate in this study. Eligibility Criteria * You have contacted a travel clinic * You are an adult aged 18 years or older * You will travel for 1 year or less * ...

Malaria in Returning Travellers

Do you know if your travel destination country has malaria? If so, would you take medication to prevent a malaria infection? As we pause to take stock of anti-malaria efforts on World Malaria Day, much progress has been made to prevent and control malaria since 2000, mainly a 25% reduction of mortality rates worldwide. Much remains to be done to successfully eradicate infections including direct community involvement, improved housing, access to healthcare, eliminating corruption, and addressing climate change. From a travel perspective, regional and international mobility, counterfeit malaria medications, growing mosquito resistance to some antimalarial medications – particularly in border areas of Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos – and the presence of malaria in new or previously eradicated areas ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Reflections on World Malaria Day

Malaria infection continues to be the biggest health threat to travellers going to malaria endemic countries. As travellers, we are equipped with knowledge about prevention methods, the geographic distribution of malaria, and we also have access to prophylactic medication and bed net protection. But what about people living in malaria areas? As we take a moment to consider World Malaria Day on April 25, there are mixed reviews regarding the state of malaria control and eradication initiati Decade to Roll Back Malaria This year marks the end of the ‘Decade to Roll Back Malaria’ declared by the United Nations. While progress has been made, this preventable disease continues to infect between 250 – 350 million people every year where ...