Malaria: Symptoms and Precautions

Malaria is the disease caused by parasitic infection of red blood cells, transmitted to humans by the infected Anopheles species female mosquitoes. There are four types of parasites that cause human malaria. Malaria is a life threatening condition, so it advised you to seek medical advise as early as possible if you have malaria symptoms.

malaria

Anopheles mosquito [image source]

Life Cycle of Malaria

Infected mosquitoes carry Plasmodium parasite and during mosquito bite these parasite is injected to our body. Once inside the body, these parasites multiple rapidly in the liver cells. Later, the liver cells are burst open and release thousands of new parasite to the blood stream and infects the red blood cells.

life-cycle

Malaria life cycle [image source]

Symptoms of Malaria

The signs and symptoms of malaria typically begin 8-25 days. Malaria begin with flu like symptoms. If it is left untreated, serious problems or even death can happen.

symptoms_of_malaria

Symptoms of Malaria

Precautions to prevent Malaria

The less you are bitten by mosquitoes, the less likely you are to get Malaria. The ‘ABCD’ plan is considered as the most effective way to prevent malaria. ABCD stands for:

A: Awareness of risk

Find out whether you are at risk of getting malaria. Measures to avoid mosquito bites should be taken if you are travelling to mosquito prevalent area.

B: Bite avoidance

It is not possible to avoid mosquito bites completely. But we can reduce chances of biting. Mosquito bites can be avoid considerably by following these methods:

  • Use insect repellent.
  • Wear long dresses that cover most of the body.
  • Use insecticide treated mosquito net during sleeping.
  • Use screen windows in doors and windows.
  • Air condition the rooms if possible.

Malaria mosquitoes bite usually at twilight and at night. So it is advised that take more precaution at that time.

C: Chemoprophylaxis (Use of drugs to avoid disease)

If you are living in areas where risk of malaria is higher, it is advised that you use antimalerial medication to avoid risk of getting malaria. The medication you need may vary depending on the type of malaria, medical history of the person and individual preference. The drugs such as Chloroquine and proguanil, Doxycyline and Malarone, Mefloquine are commonly used as antimalerial drugs. Considering the risks of using inappropriate drug, it is advised you to seek medical advise for taking the drug.

D: Diagnosis

Seek medical advise as soon as possible if you have the malaria symptoms. Treatment for the disease is typically provided in a hospitals. The medication is prescribed by the doctor based on the type of malaria parasite that you have. A medical check up is advised to individuals who traveled in areas having malaria risk.