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Malaria Prevention Strategies Involve Multiple Factors

Article discusses chemo-prophylactic regimens for hypothetical family going on African safari

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In short-term travelers, malaria prevention strategies vary according to the location of the trip and the travelers' medical history, according to a Clinical Practice article published in the Aug. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

David O. Freedman, M.D., of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, addressed prevention strategies for a hypothetical family of three planning a short safari to southern Africa: a 31-year-old husband who discontinued fluoxetine for depression, a 29-year-old wife who is 15 weeks pregnant, and a healthy 7-year-old child.

Freedman determined that the family would be at risk of developing chloroquine-resistant malaria during part of their safari. For the husband, he recommended daily atovaquone-proguanil because mefloquine is contraindicted in patients with a history of depression. He also recommended atovaquone-proguanil for the child. For the wife, he recommended not traveling but using mefloquine and strict mosquito-avoidance measures if she did decide to travel.

"Since no chemo-prophylactic regimen is 100 percent effective, this family should receive clear instructions about what to do if fever develops on their return home," Freedman concludes.

Freedman reports receiving fees from Novartis and Shoreland.

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