How does malaria occur?
By understanding how infections spread during monsoons you can help keep your family healthy parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito called Anopheles, which feeds on humans. Four kinds of malaria parasites infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. When the mosquito bites you, the parasite gets into your blood stream and multiplies rapidly, worsening the condition. Thus, prevention of malaria in the peak monsoon seasons, especially in areas that are susceptible to it, is a must.
Ways to Prevent Malaria:
- Make sure to use insect sprays indoors soon after the sun sets
- Bed nets are a must in the monsoon, in very swampy areas that are badly hit by the monsoon, as these nets can protect you from harmful mosquitoes promising a good night's sleep
- Protective clothing which includes long-sleeved shirts and pants are needed to protect yourself from mosquito bites
- Make use of insect repellent that have good amounts of DEET in them
- Stay away from places where malaria mosquitoes breed easily. Maintain good levels of hygiene inside and outside your house. Make sure that any waste or garbage is well covered and disposed off as per daily cleaning routine to avoid any breeding of mosquitoes
- Ensure that there are no puddles or pools of water in or around your house. This is easier said than done for the streets outside, but you'd be alarmed at how quickly mosquitoes breed in small pools of water in buckets or flower pots in and around the house.
Initial manifestations of the disease, common to all malaria species, are similar to flu-like symptoms, and can resemble other conditions such as septicemia, gastroenteritis, and viral diseases. Symptoms would include headache, fever, shivering, joint pain, vomiting, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, hemoglobin in the urine, retinal damage, and convulsions.
The classic symptom of malaria is paroxysm-a cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness followed by shivering and then fever and sweating.
Malaria is usually confirmed by the microscopic examination of blood films or by antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests.
There are anti-malarial medications available and travellers are often given prophylactic medication also, to prevent malaria.