Disease Prevention/Risk Reduction

There are currently no vaccines to protect against contracting malaria, although research is ongoing. All military personnel who serve in malaria endemic areas should be informed of the nature of the risks of malaria and measures to counter them. Reducing the risk of malaria infection depends on personal protection against mosquito bites and chemoprophylactic medications. The choice of malaria chemoprophylaxis is based on the type of malaria parasite, drug resistance in specific locations, and any allergic or other reaction to the medication or job-related restrictions. Prophylactic medications include chloroquine, doxycycline, atovaquone/proguanil, mefloquine, and primaquine.

Military Malaria-Related Chemoprophylaxis Guidance

Malaria chemoprophylaxis is administered under command authority and ensuring compliance is a command responsibility. Guidance can be found in the following documents:

Mefloquine

In July 2013, the FDA issued an FDA Drug Safety Communication "advising the public about strengthened and updated warnings regarding neurologic and psychiatric side effects associated with the antimalarial drug mefloquine hydrochloride. A boxed warning, the most serious kind of warning about these potential problems, has been added to the drug label. FDA has revised the patient Medication Guide dispensed with each prescription and wallet card to include this information and the possibility that the neurologic side effects may persist or become permanent." Additional information can be found on the Mefloquine Drug Label, Revised June 2013.

Personal Protective Measures

Precautions to help prevent being bitten by mosquitoes can be found in the following resources: