Malaria is a serious condition that causes high fever and chills. This condition is acquired from a bite of a mosquito infected by parasites. In rare instances, an individual can acquire the condition if in contact with infected blood.
In most cases of malaria, it can trigger symptoms that are the same as the flu such as:
The symptoms usually come and go in cycles. In some types of malaria, it can trigger serious issues such as damage to the lungs, heart, brain or kidneys which can be fatal. The condition is diagnosed by the doctor with a blood test to check for the presence of the malaria parasite in the bloodstream.
Medications are required to manage the condition but some strains of the malaria parasite might survive because they reached the liver or developed resistance to the medications.
It is vital to seek medical help as soon as possible if been to areas where there have been reported cases of malaria, exposure to mosquitoes and developing symptoms that are flu-like.
Malaria can be prevented by taking medications before, during and after travelling to an area where malaria is present. Remember that using the medications will not always work. The reason for this is that the parasites have developed resistance to some medications in some parts of the globe.
How to avoid mosquito bites
- Stay indoors when it is dark, if possible in a screened or air-conditioned room.
- Use protective clothing such as long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
- Apply an insect repellent with DEET. It is recommended to use one that contains 10-30% DEET for children.
- Utilize bed netting that has been sprayed or soaked with an insecticide such as permethrin.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are present if at high-risk such as young children, elderly and pregnant women.
- Utilize sprays for flying insects indoors around the sleeping areas.