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J Travel Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;10(4):219-24.

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of business travelers regarding malaria risk and prevention.

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Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Erratum in

  • J Travel Med. 2003 Sep-Oct;10(5):312.



This study aimed to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Swiss business travelers with regard to malaria.


Questionnaires printed in three languages were distributed by employers, travel agencies and tropical medicine specialists to business travelers with destinations in malaria endemic countries.


In total, 401 questionnaires were evaluated. Thirty-three percent visited high-risk areas, 27% visited low-risk areas, and 40% visited only malaria-free areas within endemic countries. Among the investigated business travelers, 6% had experienced malaria infection, and 29% had previously had blood smears tested for malaria at least once. Almost all business travelers, 95%, knew that mosquitoes are the main vectors of malaria. The infection risk between dusk and dawn was known to 71%, and the incubation time to 36%. Apart from fever (99%) and headache (63%), other malaria symptoms were known to only 13% to 36% of the travelers. If signs of illness such as fever and headache occurred, 63% would react adequately and seek medical advice within 24 h. Only 16% of the travelers to African high-risk areas followed the recommended behavior concerning anti-mosquito and antimalarial strategies; 31% of those on trips to low-risk areas used an adequate protective strategy. Of the business travelers using chemoprophylaxis during travel, just 50% continued intake post travel, as requested, after leaving the endemic area.


Business travelers are well informed regarding the mode of transmission and the risk of malaria at specific destinations but tend to comply poorly with anti-mosquito and chemoprophylactic strategies. The knowledge, attitudes and practices of business travelers with regard to malaria prevention need to be improved.

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