Travel websites should inform holidaymakers about the risks
of malaria and the need to take preventative measures before travelling, health experts have said.
Their warning, in a letter to this week's BMJ, follows three recent cases of malaria in UK citizens returning from 'winter sun' holidays to the Gambia, where malaria is highly endemic.
They all used the same travel website. Two had made a late booking and all failed to take preventative drugs (chemoprophylaxis). Within two weeks of returning to the UK, they all presented to hospital with severe malaria.
They say that this risk could potentially be reduced if travel websites include explicit messages regarding the need for medical advice and effective chemoprophylaxis prior to travelling to malaria endemic areas.
"A warning about the need to allow sufficient time to organise these interventions may reduce the particular risk to individuals making late bookings," they conclude.