These cases arose despite the crew member being on medication to prevent the disease. It was later found that the crew members either did not have the correct medication, for the countries they were travelling to, or they were unsure about the correct dose they should be taking.
It is noted that, if malaria is diagnosed and treated early, it is usually completely curable.
In this regard, the Club shared prevention methods for seafarers to protect from the disease.
What is malaria?
Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is preventable and curable with early diagnosis and treatment. It is not contagious, but it is an infectious disease spread through infected female mosquitos, carrying one of several malaria microorganisms.
Most malaria cases take place in sub-Saharan Africa, however, regions such as South-East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean,Western Pacific and the Americas are also at risk.
Signs and symptoms
Malaria usually has ‘flu-like’ symptoms, which include:
- High fever
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Carrying the correct medication for applicable geographic area on board in adequate quantities
- Mosquitoes are attracted by light and areas with stagnant water – care should be taken to ensure there is no stagnant water anywhere on a vessel, and that the amount of light is reduced, where safe to do so
- Ensure that no crew members sleep on deck
- Apply insecticides in cabins
- Use mosquito repellent sprays
- Avoid exposing skin
- Use mosquito nets that have been treated with an effective insecticide (on doors, windows, to sleep under, and over ventilation holes), especially at night.