Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite that affects the functioning of red blood cells. It's commonly transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Vaccines to prevent the disease do not exist yet, but several are under development.
People traveling to areas with a high rate of malaria infection (Asia, Africa and Central and South America) should consult their doctors about taking antimalarial medications two weeks before they begin their trips.
Symptoms of malaria infection include fever, chills, muscle aches and headaches, which can progress to liver failure and severe diarrhea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend the use of antimalarial medications for people traveling to high-risk areas.
In addition to antimalarial medications, other ways to prevent exposure to malaria include avoiding outdoor exposure early in the morning and early in the evening, as well as keeping your skin covered with clothing or insect repellent.
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