Malaria and travellers visiting friends and relatives.Travel Med Infect Dis. 2010 May; 8(3):161-8.TM
Among all travel-acquired illnesses, malaria carries the greatest burden not only considering the number of imported cases but also the potential of a fatal outcome. The increased number of imported malaria cases in developed countries in the last decades has been attributed to the increasing number of travel to tropical destinations in combination with the enormous influx of immigrants. At present, immigrants visiting friends and relatives (VFRs) constitute the most significant group of travellers for malaria importation in developed countries, with sub-Saharan Africa destinations carrying the highest risk. VFRs typically demonstrate travel and behavioural patterns which render them at high risk for acquisition of this largely preventable infection. Pre-travel services are rarely sought by VFRs, whereas misconceptions that they possess life-long immunity against malaria make them less likely to receive or adhere to antimalarial chemoprophylaxis recommendations. There is an urgent need to increase awareness about malaria of this group of travellers.