Risk of malaria remains a problem as one third of Brits plan to travel to Africa charity warns

Cheryl Cole was treated for malaria in hospital in 2010 Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Millions of Britons are baffled by what causes malaria, the disease which affects more than 1,500 British travellers each year.

New research to mark World Malaria Day reveals that more than 20% of Britons believe you can contract malaria from dirty drinking water, with less than 10% thinking you can catch it from contaminated food.

  • 23% of Brits believe you can contract Malaria from dirty drinking water

  • 18% believe you can contract the disease from an infected wound

  • 7% believe you can contract the disease from eating contaminated food

The poll, commissioned by Panadol to support its partnership with Malaria No More UK revealed that 38% of Brits never check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for travel advice before they holiday abroad.

With nearly a third of Brits planning to travel to Africa, where the majority of malaria deaths occur, the risk of contracting the disease remains a problem, research said.

According to the Health Protection Agency, the number of cases among British travellers has risen by nearly a quarter in the past three years.

James Whiting, Executive Director of Malaria No More UK said:

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