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Summers are back and so are the mosquitoes and Malaria! One of the most dangerous diseases, it is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. The infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite, which is released into your bloodstream when they bite. Once the parasite is transmitted to our body, within 48 to 72 hours, it infects the red blood cells, resulting in symptoms that occur soon after. Malaria cases are more in tropical and subtropical climates where the parasites can live. The disease is rare in the United States but common in developing countries and areas with warm temperatures and high humidity. Malaria is treatable if it’s caught early. 

Infection with malaria parasites may result in a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from very mild symptoms to severe disease and sometimes, even death. 

Symptoms of Malaria

  • Shivering and chills 
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating and tiredness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Body aches
  • Weakness

In the case of severe malaria, a patient suffers serious organ failures or abnormalities in his blood or metabolism. Life-threatening complications of malaria include-- swelling of the blood vessels of the brain, low blood pressure caused by cardiovascular collapse, accumulation of fluid in the lungs that causes breathing problems, anemia, acute respiratory distress syndrome and low blood sugar. 

Malaria: Prevention and Treatment

Although there is no specific vaccine for Malaria, in 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission. 

Treatment for the disease is typically the prescribed medications based on the type of parasite diagnosed. There are certain antimalarial medicines and drugs which should be consumed only when prescribed by the doctor.

You should also take precautions to avoid mosquito bites

  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin or clothes
  • Drape mosquito netting over beds.
  • Clean the water tanks and ensure that there is no stagnant water around you, which can result in the breeding of mosquitoes
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing and pants to cover your arms and legs in the evening or at the places where the mosquitos are most active
  • Keep your doors and windows closed 
  • Clean your surroundings clean

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