WHAT IS MALARIA?
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease of humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans. Left untreated, infected individuals may develop severe complications and may even die.
HOW PREVALENT IS MALARIA?
According to the World Health Organization, in 2013 97 countries had on-going malaria transmission. 1.2 billion people are at high risk, and in some areas, more than one malaria case occurs in a population of 1,000.
WHAT CAUSES MALARIA?
Commonly the disease is caused by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. This bite introduces the parasites into a person’s blood. The parasites then travel to the liver where they mature and reproduce.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms are similar to flu-like conditions, namely:
- Fever and chills
- Joint pain
- Retinal damage
In severe cases, malaria can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma or death. These symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten. However, the symptoms may appear later for those individuals who have taken anti-malarial medication as prevention.
CAN MALARIA RECUR?
Yes, this is caused by parasites surviving in the blood as a result of ineffective or inadequate treatment.
HOW DO WE PREVENT MALARIA?
Methods to prevent malaria include the following:
- Medication ( skin repellants )
- Mosquito control
- Prevention of bites
(source: center for disease control and prevention and world health organization)