Romanians with malaria: symptoms, prevention, treatment

In the last month, four cases of severe malaria were registered at the “Dr. Victor Babeş” Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases, among Romanian citizens who traveled to Zanzibar. Doctors recommend that we pay attention to the symptoms and prevent the disease.

Four Romanians sick with malaria, in the last month – Photo Shutterstock

In Romania, in the last 3 months, a total of 11 cases of malaria were diagnosed in people who traveled “in endemic areas of Africa (4 cases each in November and December and 3 cases in January)“, informs the Ministry of Health.

So far, no deaths have been reported from this cause.

Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by the bite of the Anopheles mosquito in endemic areas.

Treatment consists of antimalarial drugs, but protection against mosquito bites is also very important. The Ministry of Health recommends that Romanian tourists, who head to tropical areas, have a discussion with doctors before leaving on the road about malaria prophylaxis.

Four cases of severe malaria

And the doctors from the Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases”Dr. Victor Babes“, together with the representatives of the Romanian Society of Tropical Diseases and Travel Medicine, recommends that Romanian tourists inform themselves about the prophylaxis of malaria, but also of other specific diseases when they go to countries in endemic areas.

Specialists launch a call to the general public, emphasizing the importance of proper medical information in relation to travel to certain tourist destinations. In turn, travel agencies are encouraged to refer tourists to medical offices specializing in infectious diseases and travel medicine, in order to obtain the necessary medical information before departure.

For tourists traveling to destinations that are considered endemic areas of malaria, we recommend first of all the presentation to the infectious disease specialist and, if the destination requires it, the administration of a prophylactic treatment both against malaria and other diseases specific to the respective areas, which can be prevented“, said Simin Aysel Florescu, manager of the Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases “Dr. Victor Babeş”, according to the previously cited source.

Those who get malaria can have symptoms such as: fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain, diarrhea, as well as other manifestations. The diagnosis is confirmed following specific blood tests that are done in specialized medical units.

It is essential that patients see a doctor as soon as the first signs appear, in order to benefit from an accurate diagnosis and to quickly initiate specific treatment“, say the specialists.

If the presentation to the doctor is delayed, the disease can be extremely dangerous, and can even lead to death, doctors warn.

Recommendations for avoiding mosquito-borne diseases

To prevent illness, the National Institute of Public Health recommends

  1. Avoiding exposure to mosquito bites between sunset and dawn when mosquitoes are most active or wearing long-sleeved clothes, long pants and socks during this time,
  2. Use of repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) on uncovered parts of the body.
  3. Preventing mosquitoes from entering homes by closing doors and windows or putting nets on doors and windows.
  4. Use of permethrin-impregnated strips in areas where it is not possible to prevent mosquitoes from entering the bedroom.
  5. Indoor use of sprays or other insecticide products.
  6. The use of permethrin, a pyrethroid with insecticidal properties, by application to clothing (impregnation of military clothing, impregnation of the clothing of people who work at night in the fields), mosquito nets, tent walls or other materials, but not to the skin.
  7. Removing stagnant water by emptying rainwater catch basins, planters, cans and buckets, removing used tires from yards, clearing clogged gutters, removing household trash.