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Nothing like ordinary malaria

Updated on October 19, 2016
Plasmodium mosquito
Plasmodium mosquito
Malaria patient
Malaria patient

I get easily upset when people say “ordinary malaria” and that has led to the trivialization of the disease. Do you know that, 1 in 5 child deaths in Africa is attributed to malaria. 3,000 children around the globe die every day as a result of malaria related cases. Do we record such high rate of deaths in other diseases that people consider deadly?

Medical experts have said it often times that, malaria is a killer disease and that it ought to be recognized as such by all individuals.

A condition that kills cannot be addressed as ordinary. The way you dress up a condition is the way you will address it. It should be recognized as a killer disease.

That an adult living in an area where malaria is endemic will not have severe malaria should not make us reduce our appreciation of the severity of malaria particularly among children who are not previously protected.”

Malaria can cause a number of life-threatening complications.

The following may occur:

  • swelling of the blood vessels of the brain, or cerebral malaria
  • an accumulation of fluid in the lungs that causes breathing problems, or pulmonary edema
  • organ failure of the kidneys, liver, or spleen
  • anemia due to the destruction of red blood cells
  • low blood sugar
  • Abortion

Having noted that, is good to know what causes malaria:

Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a group of single-celled microorganisms) belonging to the Plasmodium type. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue, vomiting, and headaches. Once an infected mosquito bites a human and transmits the parasites, those parasites multiply in the host’s liver before infecting and destroying red blood cells. Within 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply, causing the infected cells to burst open.

It can be transferred from one person to other through blood transfusion, shared needles, or organ transplantation. An infected mother can spread malaria through the placenta to her unborn child. Except for these rare situations, transmission only occurs when a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. The infected person is not contagious to other individuals, and there is no need to isolate or quarantine the person to protect others from direct transmission.

Determine whether you're at risk.

Malaria is usually found in tropical and subtropical climates where the parasites that cause it live. If you're traveling to a country with high rates of malaria, it's important to take precautions. Malaria is preventable if you take the right medication before, during, and after exposure to dangerous mosquitoes. The following regions are high-risk:

  • Africa
  • Central and South America
  • Parts of Caribbean Asia, Eastern Europe, and the South Pacific

Common symptoms of malaria include:

Shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe

High fever

Profuse sweating

Headache

Nausea

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Anemia

Muscle pain

Convulsions

Coma

Bloody stools

How do we prevent the spread of malaria?

By keeping our surroundings clean.

Use insecticidal treated net to sleep.

Education to help children and families protect themselves from malaria

Wearing protective clothing that covers the arms and legs, especially in the evenings;

Adequate funding to help people in high-risk areas.

High risk areas
High risk areas
Mosquito treated insecticide net
Mosquito treated insecticide net

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