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Preparedness Key to Mitigating Malaria Risks

Monday, April 25, 2016 Tropical Disease News J E 4
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Correlation between calls for information about malaria and reduction in malaria cases, says International SOS

TREVOSE, Pa., April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Each year, up to 30,000 travelers contract malaria.1
  • Imported malaria cases are on the rise.2
  • Growth in international travel and lapses in precautions among overseas travelers likely cause of increase.
  • Majority of travelers report they don't research diseases prior to travel.3
  • International SOS data shows a correlation between calls for information about malaria and reduced hospital admissions, hospital stays and evacuations related to malaria.4

Countries are reporting a rise in imported malaria cases and travelers are reminded about the importance of taking appropriate precautions and implementing prevention tactics when traveling to malaria endemic areas.

New data indicates a correlation between malaria education and the number of malaria in-patient, out-patient, and evacuation assistance services required by international travelers.

International SOS, a medical and travel security risk services company, analyzed the requests for assistance they received regarding malaria over a four-year period (2012-2015). The more calls for advice and information received; the less cases of people needing malaria treatment and assistance. Malaria in-patient and evacuation cases spiked when there were fewer calls for information about malaria.

Robert L. Quigley MD, D. Phil, Senior Vice President and Medical Director at International SOS, explains:"Traveling abroad has become very common for some – and, the more the novelty wears off, so does the time and effort in pre-travel preparation. Unfortunately for the global traveler, neglecting the research and preparation for health-related matters can end up with serious consequences."

A recent global study found that only 32 percent of travelers research diseases prior to going abroad. While the United States is not far behind at 30 percent, there is a need to bolster this number and increase awareness for disease research prior to travel.3

Dr Quigley commented:   "The data shows that lack of pre-travel preparation is the norm, indicating travelers are complacent about risks. It is imperative for travelers to know the symptoms of malaria and seek immediate medical attention if they develop – even if they believe they have taken all the right preventive actions. We still see travelers dying from malaria and these deaths may have been preventable."

The most effective way for travelers to reduce the likelihood of contracting malaria is to understand the risks at their destination, prevent mosquito bites, and use preventive medication if prescribed.

Malaria cases are on the rise amongst travelers. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that malaria hit a 40-year high in the U.S., attributing the cause to a rise in international travel and concurrent lapse in precautionary measures.2

In addition to the well-being of travelers and staff, organizations can financially benefit from malaria prevention programs. Return on Prevention, a paper published by research and consultancy firm Prevent, determined a return of $1.32 for each $1 invested in an employee malaria prevention program.5 

Travelers are encouraged to speak with a travel health professional prior to traveling to malaria endemic areas. Free educational materials are available to the public at https://www.internationalsos.com/topics/malaria2016.

International SOS provides education and malaria prevention services to organizations and their traveling employees. Pre-travel health advice is included in International SOS membership.

 

About International SOS  International SOS is the world's leading medical and travel security risk services company. We care for clients across the globe, from more than 850 locations in 92 countries.

Our expertise is unique: More than 11,000 employees are led by 1,400 doctors and 200 security specialists. Teams work night and day to protect our members.

We pioneer a range of preventive programs strengthened by our in-country expertise. We deliver unrivalled emergency assistance during critical illness, accident or civil unrest.

We are passionate about helping clients put Duty of Care into practice. With us, multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas. www.internationalsos.com

Notes for Editors:

  1. United Against Malaria. Malaria.com. http://www.malaria.com/overview/travel-information
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/features/malaria/
  3. International Travel: Risks and Reality 2015, an Ipsos Global advisor research study.
  4. International SOS case data. 2012-2015.
  5. "Return on Prevention," Prevent, March 2015. Download here.

 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/preparedness-key-to-mitigating-malaria-risks-300256485.html

SOURCE International SOS

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