People who recently have traveled to a country in which malaria exists and who develop a high fever or other symptoms that may be malaria should call their doctor or go to a hospital's emergency department.
In much of the world, malaria is treated at home with oral medications and fluids. Severe infections require IV drug therapy.
In the US, the disease probably should be treated first in a hospital.
The most important aspect of home care is to make sure you drink lots of fluids and do not become dehydrated.
People infected with P vivax or P ovale will need to take chloroquine (Primaquine) for several weeks after being treated in order to kill the parasites hiding in the liver.
Report any recurrent fever or symptoms to your doctor because treatment failures are fairly common, and additional treatment will be indicated.
Do not donate blood for several years after having been exposed to malaria.
For people traveling to areas where malaria exists, prevention is perhaps the most important aspect of managing the disease. See your doctor well before you travel, because some medications need to be started before you travel.
Several medications are used to prevent infections during foreign travel. The pattern of drug resistance to these medications is constantly changing.
In some parts of the world, P falciparum is resistant to all these drugs.
The Centers for Disease Control maintains a Web page (Regional Malaria Information) that gives specific recommendations for every country.
Use of mosquito nets and insect repellents can decrease the chance of getting infected.
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