World Malaria Day 2017
WHAT IS MALARIA?
Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases caused by a parasite called plasmodium, which is transmitted to humans via the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
There are four major types of malarial parasites; Plasmodium Vivax, Plasmodium Ovale, Plasmodium Malariae, and Plasmodium Falciparum. Most deaths are caused by P. falciparum because P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae generally cause a milder form of malaria.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF MALARIA
- Nausea and vomiting
- Body aches
- Muscle and joint pain
- Abdominal pain
HOW MALARIA IS TRANSMITTED?
- Female Anopheles mosquito must be infected through a previous blood meal taken on an infected person to transmit malaria.
- The parasites multiply in the liver and the bloodstream of the infected person. The parasite may be taken up by another mosquito when it bites an infected person.
- Malaria also may be transmitted from a mother to her foetus before or during delivery (“congenital” malaria).
- Because the malaria parasite is found in red blood cells, malaria can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, organ transplant, or the shared use of needles or syringes contaminated with blood.
THEME FOR MALARIA DAY 2017:
Each World Malaria Day focuses on a specific theme.
The theme for the year 2017 is “End malaria for Good”
DID YOU KNOW?
- Malaria is only transmitted by infected female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. Most female Anopheles mosquitoes are nocturnal feeders and they are also known as ‘night-biting’ mosquitoes (that is, they only bite at night).
- When combined with HIV/AIDS, malaria is even more deadly, particularly for pregnant women and children.
- Half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria
- Malaria breeds mostly in warmer climates, where there is an abundance of humidity and rain.
- An infected person may start feeling symptoms anywhere from a week to a month after they are bitten. With some rarer forms of Malaria, the parasite remains dormant and an infected person will not become ill for up to 4 years.
- Malaria is not a contagious disease. It cannot be contracted through contact with an infected person, sexually or otherwise.
- Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease.
- If malaria is diagnosed and treated early on, the duration of the infection can be considerably reduced, which in turn lowers the risk of complications and death.
HIGH RISK GROUPS
- children under five years of age
- Patients with HIV/AIDS
- Travellers coming from areas with no malaria
- Adults over 65
- People on long term steroids or those receiving chemotherapy
- Malaria is more severe in people who have had theirspleen removed (splenectomy)
- Pregnant women and their unborn children
- Use mosquito repellent
- Go for loose long sleeves, socks and long pants
- Pregnant women and young children should avoid travelling to malaria-prone areas.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites by sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito net.
- Grow mosquito repellent plants like marigold, peppermint, garlic, citronella, lemon balm, clove, eucalyptus.
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
- Stay and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms.
- Keep gutters clean and unclogged.
- Keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated, even when not in use.
- Flush out any stagnant water sources in your yard.