Malaria in Sri Lanka

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Malaria is a prominent feature in Sri Lanka and the majority of the country has some malaria risk. The disease is prominent all year round so no matter when you go, malaria tablets will always be needed. However, not every part of the country has malaria, as there are some regions that have been deemed malaria free. Therefore, talk to your doctor about your travels and the exact areas you plan to visit so that they can make sure you get the right type of malaria tablet if needed.

Most areas will need malaria tablets except for a select few. These areas include Nuwara Eliya, Colombo, Galle and Kalutara. If you plan to visit any other part of Sri Lanka, you will need to take malaria tablets. Also, if you are staying in any of the regions listed above and plan to visit another area that has a malaria risk, you may need to take malaria tablets. The tablets that are recommended for Sri Lanka are Mefloquine, Malarone and Doxycycline. Chloroquine will not work in Sri Lanka because the parasites are resistant to the drug and it will not be effective in stopping the parasite from causing malaria.

You will also need to use insect protection measures, as it is best to avoid being bitten if at all possible. Wear long sleeved clothing from dusk onwards and remain in doors during this time. Keep all doors and windows shut and sleep in an air-conditioned room if possible. If this is not an option, you will need to sleep in a mosquito net to protect yourself from bites. These are safe because they provide a barrier between you and the mosquitoes and have also been sprayed with insecticide. You should also wear insect repellent to deter the mosquitoes.

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