Did you know that Malaria is a leading cause of death worldwide?
Today is World Malaria Day. Here are some deadly facts you ought to know about Malaria:
- Malaria is a life threatening disease caused by mosquito bites. It is spread by Anopheles mosquitoes.
- Malaria is a blood borne disease. The malaria parasites enter the blood stream and multiple within the red blood cells of the infected individual.
- There are five types of Malaria. Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax), Plasmodium malariae (P. malariae), Plasmodium ovale (P. ovale) which are three milder forms of the disease. Plasmodium falciparum (P. faliparum)is the most serious form of the disease. Plasmodium knowlesi (P. knowlesi) causes infection in macaque (a species of monkeys) and can affect the humans too.
- High Fever is the most common symptom of Malaria. Since fever can indicate many other ailments it may delay the timely diagnosis and treatment of Malaria. But, in Malaria, fever takes a different pattern altogether. Once infected, fever may come and go, appear on alternate days or come in every four days.
- You should suspect Malaria if you have high fever that does not go away, if you had recent exposure to mosquitoes and if you live in or had travelled to an area where malaria is prevalent.
- Chills, headache, excessive sweats, weakness and fatigue, nausea and vomiting and body pain are the symptoms of Malaria.
- Malaria can mimic many diseases including the seasonal Influenza. Only a physician can diagnose Malaria by looking at the symptoms and blood reports.
- Malaria is a neglected tropical diseases which kills a large number of people in Africa. In India, many die due to undiagnosed Malaria. It is found that patients who died complained of high fever and other symptoms resembling those of Malaria and failed to undergo the necessary blood tests.
- Malaria can reoccur. Certain parasites can hibernate in the liver causing the disease to appear again.
- In certain cases, Malaria can be accompanied by other illnesses like Jaundice.
- A malarial infection can cause other complications like anemia, dehydration, dysentery, weight loss, kidney failure, liver failure and hypoglycemia.
- Malaria can be fatal. It is a serious illness especially in pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly.
- There is no vaccine available to prevent Malaria.
- The best way to prevent Malaria is to destroy mosquitoes and their breeding sites. Using physical barriers to avoid mosquito bites is highly recommended. To avoid mosquito bites, wear clothing that covers the body well, use mosquito repellents and bed nets during night.
There are kitchen remedies to treat Malaria. Wish to know them? See here! However, these remedies should not replace doctor’s advice or conventional medical treatment.
Take care of yourself!