Malaria can become a serious infection if allowed to spread unchecked. Check on the symptoms of malaria and practice preventive measures against it.
In recent years, malaria has risen in numbers and intensity in most parts of the world. It has also claimed a lot of lives year on year. When it comes to malaria, the global community has a veritable ticking time bomb on its hands.
What causes malaria?
Malaria is an illness caused by the bite of an infected Aedes Anopheles mosquito. The virus causing the illness enters the bloodstream, and it typically matures in the liver for about 5 days. Thereafter, the illness becomes apparent through various symptoms of malaria, like fever, chills, headache, body pain, nausea, reduced haemoglobin, etc. If the illness progresses without diagnosis or treatment, it may cause bloody stools, anaemia, inability to digest food, diarrhoea, etc.
The symptoms of malaria are similar to those of dengue and influenza, but a doctor can differentiate between these illnesses, so do consult with one if you notice any of the above symptoms. When left untreated, malaria has the potential to become life threatening.
It is passed on from the contact of infected blood between humans. Thus, blood transfusions and mosquitoes biting an infected person are the biggest transmitters of malaria. Pregnant women may also pass on the infection to the foetus.
How to prevent malaria
- Since there is no cure for malaria by way of drugs, prevention is the best measure you can take against getting the illness in the first place.
- Certain regions of the world are more prone to malaria than others, such as the African subcontinent, the Southern parts of Asia, India, etc. Exposure to vector-borne malaria is increased when you stay or visit these places. Tourists flying to these areas may need to take the necessary inoculation before the trip.
- Simple everyday measures can prevent the symptoms of malaria and keep the illness at bay. If you or a loved one has contracted malaria, you must take the prescribed retroviral drugs, drink plenty of fluids and rest adequately till the illness goes away.
- One of the simplest measures against malaria is to invest in a good mosquito killer spray that flushes out mosquitoes inside the house, and prevents new ones from entering the home. Close the doors and windows and spray the room. Let the spray do its job for about 10 minutes before opening the windows and doors.
- Use mosquito repellent cream when you are out of the house.
- Loose-fitting clothes are better than clingy fabrics – mosquitoes are able to bite through cloth fibres, so it is better to keep some distance between the skin and the clothing.