Prevention and control measures for malaria

Prevention measures

Prevention of malaria is currently based on two complementary methods: chemoprophylaxis and protection against mosquito bites. While several malaria vaccines are under development, none is available yet.

Chemoprophylaxis

In Europe, malaria chemoprophylaxis is only for travellers to malaria endemic countries, which are classified in three (or four) groups, to determine which drug is recommended for chemoprophylaxis. The choice of drugs depends on the travel destination, the duration of potential exposure to vectors, parasite resistance pattern, level and seasonality of transmission, age and pregnancy. In endemic countries, chemoprophylaxis could also be recommended for autochthonous young children and pregnant women, depending on endemicity level and seasonality of transmission.

Personal protection measures against mosquito bites

Because of the nocturnal feeding habits of most of Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria transmission occurs primarily at night. Protection against mosquito bites include the use of mosquito bed nets (preferably insecticide-treated nets), the wearing of clothes that cover most of the body, and use of insect repellent on exposed skin. Type and concentration of repellents depend on age and status.

Mosquito control

Vector control measures depend on vector species, mosquito biology, epidemiological context, cost and acceptability by populations. The main current measures are focused on reduction of the contact between mosquitoes and humans, the destruction of larvae by environmental management and the use of larvicides or mosquito larvae predators, and destruction of adult mosquitoes by indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated bed nets.

Prevention and control measures related to mosquito-borne diseases

Personal protective measures against mosquito bites

The best protection from mosquito-borne diseases is preventing mosquito bites.

Guidelines for mosquito surveillance

ECDC has produced guidelines to support the implementation of tailored surveillance for invasive and native mosquito species of public health relevance.