How do we get infected by the malaria virus?
Malaria is caused by a Plasmodium parasite that is transferred to the human body through the bite of female Anopheles species mosquitoes. These parasites are mostly present in the tropical regions of the world because of favorable climatic conditions for their growth. The areas including African countries, the Asian subcontinent and New Guinea and western Pacific islands serve favorable conditions for the growth of these parasites.
The cycle of malaria parasite :
If a mosquito bites a person suffering from malaria or carrying malaria parasites into his system then the mosquito gets infected and is considered as a carrier of the disease.
Once this mosquito bites other human being the parasites are transferred into the person’s body. The parasites will remain dormant into the liver up til 2 weeks and once they move from liver to bloodstream, we start feeling the symptoms of malaria.
About half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. More than 35 countries all over the world are prone to this parasite with the highest number of patients from Africa.
Symptoms of malaria are visible about after 10-15 days once the mosquito bites. The symptoms of malaria, in the beginning, is similar to common cold, flu which makes it harder to distinguish. However, if you look out for certain conditions and symptoms, you can distinguish the signs and take action as soon as possible.
The early symptoms are visible about 2 weeks after getting infected which are mostly similar to flu symptoms include :
- Fever and sweats followed by normal body temperature.
- Cold and shivering sensations
- Muscle pain
If symptoms remain undetected then the condition could get severe leading to the serious condition of the patient.
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Continuous sweating
- Jaundice because of losing red blood cells
The most common symptom of malaria to distinguish it from flu is malaria attacks. During this condition, severe chills are followed by high fever, followed by sweating and normal temperature.
How to Prevent Malaria?
Follow the wise approach and avoid the risk of getting infected by malaria parasites.
Awareness of risk – The best way of prevention is by avoiding the risk factors. Be aware that are you prone to getting infected by the malaria parasite. Before traveling check if the place you are visiting is prone to malaria parasites. In case, take all necessary precautions and anti-malaria drugs to prevent from getting infected.
Even if you are living in a country where malaria is common, it is necessary to take all the required precautions. The risk of getting malaria is high in certain seasons and climatic conditions so make sure to check before you plan your travel.
Common prevention tips :
- Wear full sleeved clothes and socks as much as you can.
- Apply mosquito repellant lotions while going outside.
- Children are at high risk of developing malaria so check them twice before they go out and play.
- Use a mosquito net for sleeping. Over time mosquitos are being used to the repellants so it is only better to use a mosquito net to sleep in. Also, use insecticide-treated mosquito repellant net.
- Keep doors and windows closed at peak hours such as during evening or rainy season when the risk of mosquitos is high. Most of Anopheles mosquitos bite at night.
Are anti-malaria tablets effective?
These tablets are taken in order to reduce the risk of getting infected by the malaria parasite. However, these tablets provide only up to 90% safety from the disease hence,you cannot be totally sure and need to take other preventive measures.
Consult your doctor or pharma before taking these tablets. Make sure you are taking medications that your body can tolerate. Medications without a prescription could cause serious side effects.
Seek medical advice as soon as you detect symptoms
Consult a doctor if you have been suffering from malaria symptoms after or while traveling to an area where malaria is common. Malaria can get worse very quickly, therefore, see a doctor if your country is prone to malaria or the climatic conditions are favorable for the growth of parasites. Often people ignore malaria symptoms as common flu and later the condition gets serious.
Don’t hesitate to go to a doctor even if you have been taking anti-malarial tablets. Stop the medication at once and seek doctors advice. Book a doctor’s appointment at your home or get a blood diagnosis from your home through ZevA app.