A new study from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine indicates the number of cases of malaria in Calgary is increasing.  Researchers believe the jump is due in part to a lack of knowledge amongst Calgarians about the benefits of taking anti-malaria drugs when traveling to foreign countries where malaria is rampant.

“Malaria is a preventable disease and there is good medication to prevent malaria,” says Dr. Dylan Pillai of the University of Calgary.

According to the U of C study, there were 295 confirmed cases of malaria in Calgary between 2000 and 2011.  Of those cases, less than 24 per cent of the travelers had sought malaria medical advice before their trip, and only 60 per cent of those that sought advice took anti-malaria medication.

Each year, malaria kills approximately 655,000 people worldwide.

Malaria is a tropical infection passed on by infected mosquitoes.  Symptoms of the infection resemble the flu and, in severe cases, can be fatal.

For more information on malaria and malaria prevention, visit the Government of Canada - Travelling Abroad - Malaria

With files from Karen Owen