Malaria warning for gap year travellersPeople are putting their lives at risk

06 October 2008

Mosquito

Mosquitoes: small but potentially deadly

A third of gap year travellers are putting their lives at risk by not taking precautions against malaria.

Survey findings

As many as 41% of gap year travellers do not sleep under a mosquito net in areas where the disease is prevalent, according to a survey conducted by Gapyear.com for the Malaria Awareness Campaign. And 25% of gap year tourists do not obtain travel health advice before their trip. 10% did not use essential prevention methods such as mosquito repellent.

Long-haul holidaymakers

It's not just gap year travellers who need to be concerned about malaria, every year some 2 million British holidaymakers visit regions where the disease is rife. Around 2000 of them will come home with the disease and a dozen or so will die.

Which? Holiday tips

To protect yourself, cover up. Mosquitoes are most active from dusk until dawn, so that's the time when you most need to cover up and wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers. But remember, certain types of mosquitoes will feed all day.

Don't use perfumes, deodorants and scented soap that can make you tastier to mosquitoes.

Stay in screened rooms if possible, and spray thoroughly before going to bed with a knockdown insecticide to kill mosquitoes. The most effective repellent currently available is diethyl toluamide or DEET.