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When To Call a Doctor

Call a doctor immediately if you have been in an area where malaria is present, were exposed to mosquitoes, and develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever, chills, headache, and nausea).

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won't need treatment. If you get worse, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.

Do not wait to call a doctor if you think you have malaria. Call a doctor immediately.

For people who live for many years in countries where malaria is common and have some immunity to malaria, watchful waiting is okay for mild malaria symptoms. Flu-like symptoms may also be caused by many other diseases or health conditions. Watchful waiting is not appropriate for most travelers. If you have a question about your symptoms, call your doctor.

Who to see

Health professionals who can check out symptoms that may be caused by malaria include:

In the United States, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) toll-free at 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO) or visit the CDC's malaria website ( to receive the most current information about malaria and appropriate travel precautions. Your doctor or local health department may also have this information.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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