KEEPING MALARIA AT BAY
With the onset of monsoon, it is quite evident to get enclosed by a number of communicable and contagious diseases. Due to continuous rainfall that result in water logging, the risk of getting infected with vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria and chikungunya increases three fold during monsoon.
HOW DOES MALARIA SPREAD?
Malaria being the most common life-threatening disease during monsoon which is caused by a parasite is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The infected mosquito transmits the disease from one person to another. This makes it extremely important for everybody to ensure that they take the necessary precautions to be safe from mosquito borne diseases like malaria.
Malaria is predominant or endemic in certain parts of India particularly Maharashtra Andhra Goa West Bengal and some parts of Karnataka. At one point of time, Malaria was a dreadful disease with high mortality rate. However, with help of awareness and government intervention, people are now aware about the symptoms and seeking treatment at an early stage.
Malaria is caused by the bite of an Anopheles mosquito generally during the night. It is caused by a protozoa called plasmodium, there are four types of plasmodium: plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, plasmodium ovale and plasmodium malarial. All the four kinds of plasmodium cause a similar illness the only difference being that falciparummalaria once treated will need not be treated again as against the other two which needs another course of treatment to suppress their symptoms.
One can start getting the symptoms within 10â€“15 days after the infective mosquito bite. Malaria has a similar presentation with very high fever severe chills and can be sometimes life-threatening. Based on their fever type alternate days or once in three days we can identify the type of malaria the patient is suffering from. Treatment is uniformly the same mainly we need to concentrate on prevention.
Other symptoms include:
- Shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe
- High fever
- Profuse sweating
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle pain
- Bloody stools
If someone witnesses these symptoms, it is advisable to immediately visit a nearby healthcare centre and seek immediate treatment.
If not treated within 24 hours, malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.
PROTECTION AND PREVENTION
Since the malarial parasite gets in through the bite of an Anopheles mosquito during night, it is advisable to avoid sleeping in fields or open areas without mosquito net or mosquito repellent. Keep your surrounding safe and avoid breeding of mosquitoes which happens in small puddles of water collected in and around the house by hoarding small vessels or tyres. Malaria can be life-threatening if not diagnosed early, hence one has to have a great degree of awareness and should be aware of all preventive measures to protect oneself rather than getting treated for it.