Malaria in China

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There are areas within China that carry a malaria risk as both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax reside in areas of the country. China has a long history of the disease as ancient Chinese writings describe the symptoms we see today in many malaria patients. Plants that were used to treat malaria were also found in Chinese tombs. Today it is still a major health problem, especially in the rural provinces.

There is no risk of malaria in Heilong Jiang, Qinghai, Beijing, Ningxia, Shanxi or Nei mongol and there is no risk in a number of the western provinces. Therefore, if you are visiting any of these areas, you will not be prescribed malaria tablets but you are advised to use insect protection measures to avoid being bitten. The majority of urban areas also do not have a risk of malaria. The rural parts of china however, do have malarial transmission and these include Hubei, Anhui, Henan, Guizhou, Hainan and Yunnan with the last two provinces having the highest malarial transmission in China. It is also important to note that some of the river cruises pass through areas where there is a risk of malaria so talk to your doctor for advice.

There is Chloroquine resistance in a number of places in China, including the Hainan and Yunnan provinces. This is a particular problem because these are the two regions in which malaria is an endemic. Lariam and Mefloquine are usually prescribed for China but Mefloquine will not work if you are along the border of Burma in west Yunnan. As well as taking your anti-malarials, you should also ensure that you wear long sleeved clothing, sleep in an air-conditioned room or under a mosquito net and stay somewhere that has been sprayed with insecticide.

Malaria in Hong Kong

Recently, there has been no reported malarial transmission in Hong Kong. There is no risk in any of the urban areas of Hong Kong and there is a extremely low risk of malaria in the more rural areas. Therefore, you do not need to take malaria tablets as the chances of catching malaria are extremely slim. However, you should still follow insect protection methods and wear loose clothing with long sleeves, sleep in a mosquito net if air-conditioning is not available and wear insect repellent.

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