Malaria is a common and life threatening disease in the tropics that affects many international travellers each year. It is caused by a parasite introduced by the bite of an infected mosquito which normally feeds from sunset to sunrise. Symptoms will develop 8 days or more after the infected bite. Severe illness or death can occur within a few hours of the first symptom. Early symptoms include high temperature with shivering, headache, muscle ache and weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea. Malaria is a far more serious disease for young children and pregnant women. Prompt medical treatment can be life saving. Antimalarial tablets are recommended for at risk areas and the choice of drug will depend on your destination, medical history and budget. Avoiding insect bites using repellents, covering up with treated clothes and sleeping under a mosquito net are also essential to protect against Malaria and several other common tropical diseases spread by insect bites.