UK Travellers warned of malaria risk over festive season

Holiday makers wishing to escape the UK for some fun in the sun this Christmas have been urged to protect themselves from deadly diseases. Research compiled by the Health Protection Agency has confirmed that between 1500 -2000 people return to the UK after having contracted fatal diseases such as Malaria. 11 people have died in the past from diseases brought back from overseas. The study also found that many UK travellers are naive when it comes to these types of diseases and view some of them as 'trivial.' But the agency said that if holidaymakers do not take the neccessary precautions, they run the risk of 'dying very quickly from the disease.' Dr Barbara Bannister, Chair of the UK Malaria group advisory committee for travellers, said: 'This is the time of year when some people may want to book that last minute break for some fun in the sun. However, travellers should make sure that they see the world not malaria.' Simple guidelines include putting on plenty of insect repellant before, during and after the trip, as well as consulting your GP on relevant medication. Prevention guidelines by the agency have been graded as A, B, C, D categories. A) is an awareness of the risk B) - is prevention C) - is hemoprophylaxis and D) - is diagnosis and treatment. The agency's booklet can be obtained by consulting your GP or health worker who issue information regarding diseases when holidaymakers plan to travel to overseas continents. Professor Peter Chiodini, Director of the agency's Malaria reference laboratory has added that it is important that when travellers travel to continents where malaria is a threat that they check their medication is up to date and take it 'meticulously' when there.