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.

Treating malaria

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.


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