I came back from a Kenya safari and Mombasa beach holiday 21 days ago.
I took my malaria tablets as prescribed, and only got 5 bites on my last morning.
Since yesterday, I have been feeling hot then cold, though not shivering or overly sweating. A headache which is constantly there. I have also today been sick after eating/drinking. Feeling really tired. Also sore throat and blocked nose which makes me think its more a cold, so don’t want to bother my GP.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Malaria does have an incubation period, which means that the symptoms only show up days or weeks (or in some cases, years) after the patient is bitten by an infected mosquito. Different species of malaria have different incubation times; Plasmodium falciparum, which is the most common form in sub-Saharan Africa, usually has shorter incubation times than P. vivax, a still-acute but less deadly form. P. falciparum incubation is usually between 1 and 3 weeks, although taking anti-malarial medication can extend it. As such, since you began experiencing symptoms within a few weeks of returning, there is definitely a chance it could be malaria, although less likely if you haven’t experienced any fever (this is a key symptom of malaria, and usually goes in cycles of about 48 hours). However, since malaria is a serious issue, and can progress rapidly if not treated, I would suggest you see your GP – if you tell them that you have recently returned from a highly malarial area, they will understand your concern! Alternatively, if you live near London, if you have a fever you can go straight to the A&E department of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD) in Warren Street, where they have doctors that specialise in traveller’s health and tropical medicine.