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Travellers bring deadly malaria to UK

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A deadly form of malaria is on the rise in UK travellers who continue to ignore prevention messages, according to the Health Protection Agency

Plasmodium falciparum caused three quarters of malaria cases in 2002-2006, up from a third two decades ago.

The Agency looked at 39,000 cases of malaria reported between 1987 and 2006, during which183 people died of the disease.

Over half of those who contracted the deadliest form of malaria were visiting friends and family in Nigeria and Ghana. Despite being at higher risk people returning to their country of origin are less likely to report using preventative measures.

Only 42% of UK travellers reported taking any appropriate medication to prevent malaria.

Professor Peter Chiodini, head of the Agency’s Malaria Reference Laboratory, said: “Without taking the appropriate protective drugs and using other preventative measures to prevent mosquito bites, UK travellers are exposing themselves to a killer disease that is almost completely preventable.”

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