Medicine can prevent
malaria and is needed to treat the disease. Several
things influence the choice of medicine, including:
- Whether the medicine is being used to prevent
or to treat malaria.
- Your condition (such as your age or whether
you are pregnant).
- How sick you are from
- Geographic location where you were exposed to
- Whether the malaria parasite may be
resistant to certain medicines.
- Side effects of the medicine.
Malaria is rare in the United States. But it
is widespread in other parts of the world. Find out about the risk for malaria
before you travel internationally. The most accurate information about malaria
risk and medicine resistance in specific countries is from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
If you have malaria, medicine choice is based on:
- The specific parasite causing the
- How bad the infection is.
condition (such as age, pregnancy, allergies, or health
- Medicine resistance of the parasite
found in the geographic area where you were infected.
If you have been in an area where malaria occurs, were
exposed to mosquitoes, and have flu-like symptoms, but tests do not show the
malaria parasite in your blood, the tests should be repeated 3 or 4 times to
confirm that you do not have a malaria infection. During treatment,
tests are repeated to follow the course of the infection and to check whether
the number of parasites is decreasing.
Your age and health
condition are important factors in selecting a medicine to prevent or treat
children, people who are very old, people who have
other health problems, and those who did not take medicine to prevent
malaria infection require special consideration.