Travellers are being urged to be aware of the risk of malaria, with new figures showing a rise in cases being diagnosed in Scotland.
A new report from Health Protection Scotland has found 52 imported cases of the disease were recorded in 2018, up by two from the previous year. Most cases were among people visiting friends or relatives abroad and business travellers. Half of those diagnosed reported they did not take any drugs to prevent malaria.
A spokesman for the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said malaria is a “serious tropical disease which can be fatal.”
He said: “Malaria now mainly occurs in the tropical and sub-tropical zones. It is absolutely vital that people who have recently travelled back to the UK from Africa, parts of the Middle East, Asia and Central or South America in particular report to their GP, should they experience the aforementioned symptoms.
“It is also important to find out whether you could develop malaria before travelling to more at-risk parts of the world so that you can get sound advice on how to reduce the risk of the disease: for example preventing mosquito bites and taking antimalarial medicine for prevention.”
The symptoms of malaria, which is spread by mosquitos, include fever, chills, headache, vomiting, muscle pains and diarrhoea.