Malaria cases hit ten-year high as UK travellers venture to more exotic countries | Mail OnlinePosted: February 29, 2012
Dr Ron Behrens, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: ‘Although the actual number of people being treated for malaria has increased, the risk of catching has fallen five-fold over the past 10 years .
‘This is because there has been a significant rise in the number of people travelling to places, such as West Africa, India and Pakistan, where malaria can be contracted and the malaria cases have stayed roughly the same.
‘There are now a lot more UK residents going on trips to tropical places with a risk of malaria.’
An analysis of cases found that 75 per cent of cases were UK resident travelling abroad to visit a friend or relative, another ten per cent are foreigners travelling to the UK who go down with the illness in this country and the remainder include UK residents who may contract malaria while on holiday.
Dr Behrens said that effective eradication programmes in malaria-infected countries had contributed to the lower infection rates for UK nationals when they travelled abroad, and he added that every £1 spent on anti-malarial drugs saves the NHS £5 in having to treat victims of the illness.