Don’t Let Malaria Ruin your Monsoon! Know its types, prevention and treatment.
What is Malaria? Know Its Types, Prevention And Treatment
Monsoon season brings with it several diseases, including vector-borne diseases. Amongst vector-borne, malaria is the most common disease that affects people. Malaria is caused due to the bite of the female mosquito (Anopheles). According to World Health Organization’s – World malaria report 2019, India represents 3% of the global malaria burden.
Malaria can cause mild illness in some patients and life-threatening disease in others. Various parasite species can cause the infection, and the four most common ones are Plasmodium Ovale, Plasmodium Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. However, the ones that cause a significant threat are Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.
This plasmodium parasite is the most lethal as it causes most infections and the majority of deaths worldwide. The patients infected by this parasite experience symptoms like abdominal pain, muscle ache, joint pain, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, fever, and headache. The infection leads to even some neurological symptoms as it harms the brain and the central nervous system, and the patients might suffer from cerebral malaria.
In a few cases, if the disease affects the brain, some might have seizures or loss of consciousness. One can even feel changes in the levels of consciousness, paralysis, and convulsions. It can also cause renal failure and lung involvement.
This specie is known to cause 60 per cent of infections in the country. While it is not as deadly as Plasmodium falciparum, it can cause serious illness. The infected patient will show symptoms like when affected with flu and other symptoms like diarrhoea, fever chills and fatigue.
How To Prevent Malaria?
The only way for one to prevent themselves from getting infected is by taking precautions. However, suppose a person observes any changes in their body, especially the symptoms like high fever, body chills, sweating, shivering, severe body ache, diarrhoea, fast heartbeat, and mental confusion. In that case, they should immediately consult a doctor. Also, causing delay might lead to undesired complications like kidneys can also be affected in some cases and an abnormally large spleen.
- Keep your home, office, and surroundings mosquito-free
- Wear full-sleeved clothes and full pants while stepping out
- Use mosquito repellent, and there are a few that can be applied on the clothes too or the beds
- To reduce the risk of getting infected, avoid visiting crowded places
- One should opt to sleep in a well-screened or air-conditioned room, and this is because malaria mosquitoes mainly bite at night or early mornings
- Stay indoors and close the windows, especially between dawn and dusk, as mosquitoes are most active during this time
- Make sure water is not accumulated, as it can be a breeding spot for mosquitos
- Put mosquito nets around beds
What Are the Treatment Options for Malaria?
If the disease is detected at an early stage, then the patient can be given treated at home. Malaria is treated with oral drugs, injection, or intravenously (into the veins), depending on the severity of the disease. Also, depending on the parasite causing the infection, a person might be treated as an outpatient over a few days or in the hospital with IV medicine. Patients may need fluids, blood transfusions, and oxygen if they have difficulty breathing. Malaria can usually be cured in about two weeks if diagnosed early and treated in time.
While malaria is a severe illness and can cause serious health problems, it can easily be avoided by taking adequate preventive steps.