Travel health body issues malaria warning as UK cases spike

A travel health body has warned British holidaymakers to protect against malaria infection after figures showed a sharp rise in cases.

The number of malaria cases in the UK rose 9% between 2008 and 2009, according to the Health Protection Agency. The British Travel Health Association (BTHA) urged travellers to take seriously the threat posed by malaria infection and protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Professor Larry Goodyer, BTHA education subcommittee chairman, said: ‘The UK is one of the biggest importers of malaria in Europe and these figures highlight the need for British travellers to be aware of the simple steps they need to take to protect themselves.'

He added that many people were unaware of the correct quantity of insect repellent to use or how to apply it correctly.

The Malaria Awareness Campaign, organised by GlaxoSmithKline, has released an online video showing travellers how to correctly apply insect repellent.

The campaign suggested that nurses could refer travellers to the video after a consultation, freeing up time to focus on other areas of malaria prevention.

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