April 25 is observed as World Malaria Day. Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted to humans through mosquito bite. People who have malaria usually have high fever, experience shaking chills and feel very sick.
On the occasion of World Malaria Day we take a look at common causes, signs and symptoms of malaria and top tips for prevention. Apart from fever and chills, malaria also causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, fatigue, chest pain, cough and sweating.
Malaria is most commonly spread by a mosquito bite. A mosquito becomes infected by feeding on a person who has malaria. When this mosquito bites you in future, it has the tendency to transmit malaria parasite to you.
When these parasites enter your body, they travel to your liver where some of them can lie dormant for an entire year. When these parasites mature, they can infect red blood cells. This is the stage when people begin to develop symptoms of malaria.
At this stage, if an infected mosquito bites you, it becomes infected with malaria parasites and can spread them to other people it bites.
Malaria can also spread from mother to unborn child, through blood transfusions and by sharing needles used to inject drugs.
Malaria can be prevented by avoiding travelling to place where incidence of the disease is high – like tropical and sub tropical areas. Those who are at high risk of malaria include older adults, young children and infants, pregnant women and their unborn children, travellers coming from areas where there is no malaria.
In order to prevent malaria, make sure you wear clothes that cover you properly, especially if you are going to damp areas where mosquitoes can breed. Apply insect repellents on your skin and even on clothes.
In times when malaria incidence is high in your surroundings, sleep under a net. Anyone who exhibits signs of malaria should go for diagnosis immediately. A parasitological test is important for malaria diagnosis.
This World Malaria Day, make the effort of spreading as much awareness about malaria as possible and take up tips for prevention at all times.