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What Is Malaria and What Are the Symptoms ?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites. It’s typically transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Anopheles ...


Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites. It’s typically transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Anopheles female mosquito. When this female mosquito bite you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream and make you sick. People who have malaria usually feel very sick, with a high fever and shaking chills. It is identified that there are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans (Specially these 2 species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the higher threat). Since 2000, global efforts to prevent malaria have resulted to save millions of cases and deaths.

Symptoms of malaria?

The amount of time between infection and the onset of symptoms (Incubation period) range from 10 days to 15 days after the ineffective mosquito bites. Symptoms can be ranging from absent or very mild symptoms to severe disease and death. However, malaria is curable if identified and treated correctly and promptly Within this period of time people may show following symptoms or combination of symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Kidney failure
  • Diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • Body aches
  • Sweating
  • abdominal pain
  • coma
  • bloody stools

Risk factors

According to the World malaria report, released in December 2019, there were around 228 million cases of malaria and 405,000 death in 2018, compared to 231 million cases and 416,000 deaths in 2017. In 2018 Africa region was home to 93% of malaria cases and 94% of malaria deaths. Also, the WHO regions of South-East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific, and the Americas are at risk.

Following people are considerably higher risk of contracting malaria, and developing severe disease.

-Infants
-Children under 5 years of age
-Pregnant women
-People with HIV/AIDS
-Mobile populations
-Travelers

Prevention

Vector control is the main thing to prevent and reduce the malaria transmission. We can do it in following ways

01 – Use mosquito nets

Insecticide-treated mosquito net help prevent mosquito bite while you are sleep.

02 – Spraying with insecticides

Spraying the inside of housing structures with an insecticide, typically once or twice per year.

03 – Skin cover

Ex – Wear long-sleeved shirts.

04 – Antimalarial medicines

Use of antimalarial medicines can also help to prevent malaria, especially for travelers.

05 – Early diagnosis and treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria help to prevents death as well as reduces the transmission of disease.

06 – Establish effective surveillance and management system.

It is important to have effective surveillance system to prevent and eliminate the disease.

Vaccines for malaria

According to the WHO, RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) is the first and, to date, the only vaccine to show that it can significantly reduce, and life-threatening severe malaria, in young African children. It acts against P. falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally and the most prevalent in Africa. Among children who received 4 doses in large-scale clinical trials, the vaccine prevented approximately 4 in 10 cases of malaria over a 4-year period.

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