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Background Although many Koreans travel each year to countries where malaria is present, few data are available on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Koreans with regards to malaria.

Methods The study was conducted in the departure lounge of Incheon International Airport in May 2006. A 22-item questionnaire was administered to Korean travelers whose travel destination was India.

Results Of 188 respondents, 24% had sought pretravel health information. Independent predictors for seeking pretravel health information were the following: being a Korean woman, longer duration of travel, planning to travel independently or to a rural area, and perceived risk of malaria. A total of 47% of travelers answered that they had not perceived any risk of malaria, and only 7% of travelers carried malaria prophylaxis.

Conclusions There is an urgent need for increased awareness about travel-related infectious diseases (especially malaria) among Korean travelers, and they should be encouraged to seek pretravel health information.