Preventing Malaria

What you need to know
  • Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite.
  • People get malaria from the bites of infective mosquitoes. Malaria is not common in the U.S.
  • Not getting bit by mosquitoes is the best way to prevent malaria.


Malaria is not common in the U.S. There is no vaccine for malaria currently available in the U.S. There are simple steps you can take to prevent malaria.

  • The best way to prevent malaria is to prevent mosquito bites.
  • And if you are traveling to an area where malaria is widespread, take medications to prevent malaria.

Steps you can take

To prevent mosquito bites

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below:
    • DEET (Insect repellents that contain DEET offer the best protection against mosquito bites.)
    • Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanon
  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Use 0.5% permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
    • Do not use permethrin products directly on skin.
  • Keep windows and doors closed or covered with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
  • Empty standing water at least once a week to prevent mosquitos from laying eggs.

Steps travelers can take