06 Jul 2018

Imported malaria cases in the United Kingdom in 2017

Public Health England publishes 2017 imported UK malaria cases Imported malaria cases in the United Kingdom in 2017

Public Health England (PHE) has published details of malaria cases imported into the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017 [1]. In 2017, a total of 1,792 cases of imported malaria were reported in the UK. Cases were reported in England (1,708), Scotland (50), Wales (24) and Northern Ireland (10). This number of cases reported for 2017 was 10.8% higher than reported in 2016 (N= 1,618) [1].

There were six UK deaths from malaria reported in 2017. This is the same number as in 2016 and 2015. These were all from falciparum malaria acquired in Western Africa (3), Eastern Africa (2) and South-Eastern Asia (1). Most cases in 2017 were caused by P. falciparum, which is consistent with previous years. The full report: Malaria imported into the United Kingdom 2017: Implications for those advising travellers is available from PHE.

Advice for travellers

Malaria is an almost completely preventable, but potentially fatal illness. Most UK malaria cases are in travellers who did not receive malaria prevention advice before travelling or did not follow advice that was given.

Get advice from your GP, nurse, pharmacist or travel clinic about the malaria risk at your destination before you travel, take appropriate malaria prevention medication (if recommended) and protect yourself against mosquitoes at all times, particularly at night.

If you are travelling to malaria risk areas, you must get urgent medical help if you have any symptoms, especially fever, either during your trip or for one year after you return home. If malaria is suspected, a same day result malaria blood test is required.

Advice on malaria risk in specific countries is available on the TravelHealthPro Country Information pages.

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