Experts are issuing warnings over the rapid spread of `super malaria` in South East Asia, but what exactly is it? And should we be worried?
Standard malaria can be prevented through the use of anti-malarial tablets, but the BBC reports that this dangerous new form of the parasite cannot be killed in a similar manner. This means that the life-threatening condition is beginning to spread through parts of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, morphing into a disease that is potentially untreatable.
Malaria: The facts
Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is spread via blood-sucking mosquitoes. Symptoms include a high temperature, sweats and chills, headaches, vomiting and muscle pain. It is only present in certain countries – mainly tropical regions – but can be potentially fatal if left untreated (especially in children).
Normally an infected person would be treated with a combination of artemisinin and piperaquine, but certain malaria parasites are starting to become resistant to both drugs. Writing in The Lancet Infection Diseases, researchers declared that "the evolution and subsequent transnational spread of this single fit multidrug-resistant malaria parasite lineage are of international concern."
Although the UK is malaria-free, this does raise concern for those traveling to infected countries – particular areas of Africa, where 92% of all cases occur.
If you are traveling abroad and are worried about malaria, here are some simple steps you can take to reduce risk.
It`s important not to panic. If you are concerned about traveling to a country where there is a risk of malaria, consult your doctor