Malaria myths

It is important that UK travellers separate myths from facts when protecting themselves from a deadly disease such as malaria:
Fact: Everyone’s bodies react differently to mosquito bites but this is no indication of whether you have been bitten by a malaria-carrying mosquito. It only takes one bite to contract malaria
Fact: Antimalarials tend to be between 90 – 100% effective, and in combination with good bite prevention, can help stop you contracting malaria. Remember, malaria can be deadly

Fact: Catching malaria could put you in hospital and out of action for weeks, or even kill you. There are different types of antimalarials – talk to your healthcare professional about the best one for you
Fact: There is no evidence that homeopathic or herbal medication will protect you from malaria. Seek advice on antimalarial medication from a healthcare professional before you travel.
  • Garlic, vitamin B and ultrasound devices will not protect you against malaria
  • Eating Marmite® or other savoury yeast extract spreads will not prevent malaria
  • Staying in a four or five star hotel, will not stop you getting bitten or contracting malaria. Mosquitoes don’t discriminate
  • Drinking gin and tonic will not stop you getting bitten

Myth: I hardly ever get bitten and barely react to mosquito bites so I don’t need antimalarials
Myth: Antimalarials are not 100% effective therefore there is no point taking them
Myth: All antimalarials have bad side-effects, which are worse than catching malaria
Myth: I’m taking homeopathic medicines to protect against malaria so I don’t need to do anything else to protect myself
Exposing other common myths:

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