What to do if you think you have malaria?
If you get a fever of 38 °C (100 °F) or more during or after travelling to a region where malaria is widespread:
- consider it to be a sign of malaria until proven otherwise, whether or not you have other symptoms;
- see a doctor immediately.
Information about qualified medical resources can be obtained from the Canadian embassy or, before departure, from:
IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers)
40, Regal Road
Guelph (Ontario) N1K 1B5
When seeing the doctor, if you suspect malaria:
- bring all your medications including those prescribed to prevent malaria, if you have any;
- diagnosis of malaria can be done by testing blood on a blood film
- it is impossible to diagnose a definite case of malaria without doing a blood test that can detect the parasites;
- if malaria is diagnosed, treatment must start right away.
The treatment for an attack of malaria depends on:
- the type of parasite;
- four types of malaria can be identified with a blood film examination; Plasmodium falciparum is by far the most dangerous;
- the preventive medication taken and region of the word travelled;
- severity of malaria crisis.
Once treatment has ended:
- if still travelling in the country where malaria is widespread, do not forget to immediately restart taking preventive medication against malaria, as prescribed;
- go to a tropical medicine or traveller’s health clinic during travel or upon your return since certain forms of malaria require a second treatment to eliminate parasites from the liver.