What is Malaria?

Malaria is a disease which causes high fever and chills. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected person or animal it carries the virus from their blood and then when it bites the other person the virus enters the blood stream of the person and causes malaria. Though this is a deadly disease, it can be cured.

Malaria is not contagious. Though it is not contagious malaria can be transmitted through blood transfusion, organ transplant, or the shared use of needles or syringes contaminated with blood. Malaria may also be transmitted from a mother to her unborn infant before or during delivery.

What are the Symptoms of malaria?

Symptoms of malaria can be noticed 10 days to 4 weeks after infected.

1.   Early symptoms of malaria can include irritability and drowsiness, with poor appetite and trouble sleep. Fever, chills, rapid       breathing, excessive sweating, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Malaria may cause     anaemia and jaundice and if not treated kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma and death.

How to know that we are infected by malaria:

Take a diagnostic test where a drop of your blood is examined under the microscope for the presence of malaria parasites. The test may be done number of times as parasites are difficult to detect.

What can we do to prevent malaria?

 Simple, just avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

1.    1) Using insect repellent, spraying insecticides.

2.    2) Spraying on clothes and skin. Sprays containing permethrin are safe to use on clothing, while sprays containing DEET can be used on skin.

3.    3) Wearing long sleeved cloths.

4.    4) Anoint oil to the body.

5.    5) Sleeping under bed nets.

 Even some home remedies help not only to prevent mosquitoes to enter the home but even from their bite.

 Are there any vaccines to prevent malaria?

There are concentrated efforts to develop vaccines against malaria, however there is no approved vaccine for human use. The drugs taken to prevent malaria are the same drugs used to treat the disease too. Three main types of vaccines are being developed: anti-sporozoite vaccines designed to prevent infection, anti-asexual blood stage vaccines designed to reduce severe and complicated manifestations of the disease, and transmission-blocking vaccines aimed at arresting the development of the parasite in the mosquito itself.

What  are the medicines for malaria:

After diagnosed the medical practitioner looking at your medical history, age, drug allergies and pregnancy status prescribes you the medicines.

The commonly used medicines for malaria are atovaquone, malarone, halofantrine, mefloquine, proguanil, artemisinin derivatives and co-artemether.  New and affordable drugs as well as better formulations of existing drugs are needed. This is compounded by the emergence of resistance to these and to more classical drugs, such as chloroquine.


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