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Cheryl Cole being treated for malaria in hospital

Despite taking anti-malaria drugs Cheryl Cole seems to have contracted Malaria following her recent trip to Tanzania.

With proper medical care Malaria is not normally a fatal disease and it is the lack of medical care which means that in excess of 1 million people die from the disease worldwide every year. How quickly Cheryl recovers and what the long term effects are will be depend to a degree on which strain of the disease she has caught.

According to her agent, it does seem that Cheryl Cole / Tweedy (I’m not sure what the latest etiquette is in regard to her name…) was taking prophylactic (anti) malaria drugs; I can only surmise that she followed the correct dosage for the drugs she was on; dosages will vary from drug to drug.

Alongside taking the correct dosage, it is just as important that anyone on a coarse of prophylactic drugs, sees it through to the end; this will often mean taking the drugs for between 1 and 4 weeks after you return from an area of the world where there is a malaria risk. We can only assume that she also did this.

Whatever the reason for Cheryl Cole contracting malaria, it may eventually come down to the simple fact that although prophylactic malaria drugs are very effective and should always be taken when visiting areas of malaria risk, they are not 100% effective.

Malaria may not necessarily be a killer for those of us fortunate enough to have access to the excellent medical facilities such as those we have here in the UK, but it should never be taken lightly. It can be incredibly debilitating disease both in the short term and the long term; I have no doubt we will hear exactly how bad it is from Cheryl herself when she has recovered…

Preventing Malaria is about more than simply visiting a travel clinic or GP and obtaining ‘anti-malaria’ drugs, which should be just the first step of the process, in addition effective bite prevention measures should be employed.

Bite prevention sounds straight forward, slap on some repellent and off you go; but there is more to it than this if you want it to be really effective.

A knowledge of the right mosquito repellent to use; treating your equipment and clothing with insecticide; making yourself unattractive to mosquitoes with the colours and smells you give off; moving your shoes away from your bed (yes mosquitoes are attracted to smelly feet); all reduce the chance of being bitten.

The less often you get bitten, the less often your malaria medication will be tested.

It is not sufficient to just use bite prevention methods, they alone are not full-proof. It is not sufficient just to use prophylactic (anti) malaria drugs, they alone are not full-proof. It is the combination of both which offers the best protection.

Having an understanding of the various bite-prevention techniques adds a layer of protection which GP’s and Travel clinics rarely have the time to explain adequately; during Our Workshops we do.

Even when you have taken the strongest precautions, if on your return from a malaria risk area you experience flu like symptoms or lack energy, as Cheryl Cole / Tweedy did, make it a priority to visit your GP and tell them you have recently returned from a malaria risk area of the world. Malaria can remain dormant in the body for many months, so mention it even if is many months since you returned.

Cheryl’s name will now be added to the estimated 2000 British tourists who return to the UK every year with malaria; fatalities from malaria in the UK average about 9 every year.


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Source – www.bbc.co.uk 

Date – 6th July 2010

Submitted by – Peter Mayhew