Malaria is an infectious disease that is caused by a mosquito that carries a plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites a person, it transmits the parasite into your liver and the parasite starts to mature. From the liver, parasites are passed into your bloodstream, which in turn infects the red blood cells. Within two to three days these parasites mature and burst open.
Malaria can also be fatal if it is not treated at the right time. Hence, knowing the causes and symptoms of this disease will help you protect yourself and your family from this fatal disease.
Malaria is caused by the Anopheles mosquito. Malaria is not only contracted through blood but it is also transmitted through organ transplantation via blood transmission, use of infected syringes or needles or even from a mom to her baby by birth as they occur mainly in the bloodstream.
Though there are four kinds of parasites which might cause the disease namely – vivax, falciparum, malariae, ovale, it is Plasmodium falciparum which is very severe and could result in death.
Symptoms to be Aware of:
Symptoms of uncomplicated malaria include tiredness, nausea, vomiting, fever with chills and headache, muscle pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea and sweating. At a complicated stage, wherein the red blood cells tend to be destroyed, a person might face extreme anemia, seizures, coma, unconsciousness, kidney failure, low blood sugar, confusion and even possible death.
Ways to Prevent Malaria
Avoid traveling to tropical and subtropical regions, since malaria can easily spread in these areas, as the mosquitoes that cause this disease tend to live and breed during this climate and weather. If you can’t avoid traveling, ensure that you take the right medications (consult your doctor for this) in order to protect yourself from this disease. Besides medications, it is very important to follow certain basic preventive measures as well:
- Wear light-colored, full-sleeved clothes.
- Cover yourself as much as possible.
- Apply natural oils such as lemongrass. These oil act as mosquito repellents.
- Use a mosquito net in the mosquito-prone areas of your house
- Use mosquito sprays.
Image Source: flickr, consumer reports, NIH