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Monday, May 9, 2011

UK : Britons warned over malaria symptoms

Article from The Scotsman, excerpt :

" Britons travelling abroad are being warned not to confuse the signs of malaria with those of common flu after more than half of those questioned in a survey did not recognise the symptoms.

The survey commissioned by the Malaria Awareness Campaign found that 57 per cent of the 2,254 people questioned were unaware of the symptoms of the deadly disease. Last month it emerged that malaria cases in the UK have jumped by almost 30 per cent the past two years.

Malaria Awareness Campaign spokesman Dr George Kassianos said singer and TV presenter Cheryl Cole's recent malaria battle has helped to highlight that it can affect anyone, but it is still difficult to detect.

He said: "The symptoms of malaria can be almost identical to those of common flu and can be non-specific, making it difficult for healthcare professionals to diagnose malaria early and accurately.

"But if flu-like symptoms are coupled with history of travel to a malarious destination in the last 12 months, sometimes even longer, it is essential that this infectious disease is ruled out.

"Malaria can present within the first three months, sometimes soon after return from abroad, but on occasion it can be a year or more from the bite by an infected mosquito."

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