Skip to main content

Do I need antimalarials for my trip?

A bed with a mosquito net for malaria avoidance
Click to enlarge

Easy steps to avoid malaria while travelling

Malaria is a dangerous tropical and subtropical disease that is transmitted by mosquito bites. It can make you very sick for a long time – you will probably need time off work on your return to Canada, as malaria patients often relapse.

What are the symptoms of malaria?

The symptoms of malaria are:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • vomiting

If you are or have recently been in a region where malaria is endemic and you get these symptoms, seek medical help.

To learn more about malaria, see the World Health Organization’s malaria factsheet.

What should I do if I think I have malaria?

Prompt treatment is so important with malaria. Travellers who have a feverish illness should seek medical help as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your return to Canada. See a doctor at your destination.

And if you get a feverish illness soon after your return to Canada, get medical advice and mention that you’ve been to an area where malaria is present.

Is there malaria at my destination?

The malaria map that travel health medics use to advise on malaria precautions is notoriously complicated, and changes with the season. It is likely that you’ll need help interpreting it, even if you have travelled to the region previously. So to find out if you need malaria prophylaxis for your trip abroad, make an appointment with Canadian Travel Clinics by phone on tel:+1 403 474 7208.

Can I get malaria prophylaxis at a travel clinic near me?

We are proud to provide travel health advice, vaccinations and antimalarials at our Toronto travel clinics. If you have a trip coming up, book an appointment today to discuss your needs. We can help you work out which is the best anti-malarial for you and your trip, and we can tell you when to start and finish your course of tablets to ensure you get the best protection.

It is best to obtain antimalarials in Canada, rather than at your destination. This is because medicine quality controls in Canada are very stringent, so when you buy your antimalarials from a Travel Clinic in Canada (like us) you can be sure you are getting exactly what the doctor ordered. Another reason to buy malaria tablets in Canada is to avoid putting pressure on supply chains at your destination.

What else can I do to avoid malaria?

Malaria chemoprophylaxis provides some but not complete protection against this dangerous illness. You also need to guard yourself against mosquito bites. Use an insect repellent, and wear loose-fitting clothing with good limb coverage. Sleep in a mosquito-proof space: ideally an air-conditioned room with closed windows and doors. Failing that, make use of any screens and nets provided.

These steps will also reduce your exposure to:

  • Dengue fever
  • yellow fever
  • Chikungunya
  • Zika
  • Japanese encephalitis

It also is worth talking about malaria prevention with your tour company and the manager at your accommodation. They will have specific local advice, and can show you how to correctly use any screens and nets.

For more detail on avoiding mosquitos and the diseases they carry, see our travel article.