DEAR DOCTOR K: I am traveling abroad in a few weeks. My travel clinic has prescribed antimalarial medication. Can you tell me more about malaria and how to prevent it?
DEAR READER: Malaria is a serious disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite. The parasite is not found today in the United States or Canada, but it is common in areas to which North Americans travel: Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are over 200 million new cases of malaria each year around the world.