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Know About Diseases January 2, 2018

All You Need To Know About Malaria

When it comes to monsoons, there is nothing as blissful as looking at the world through rain-kissed glasses. But with the good comes the bad and with the rainy days, come the adverse viruses and infections. With 95% of the Indian population living in malaria-prone areas, we have every reason to look out for the causes, symptoms and preventive measures of this recurring malady.

 

What causes malaria?

Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic infection spread by a female Anopheles mosquito infected by the Plasmodium parasite. It is a single-celled parasite that multiplies amongst the red blood cells of humans as well as in the mosquito’s intestine. When the female mosquito feeds on an infected person, the parasites are ingested along with the human blood. The parasites multiply in the mosquito’s gut and these infectious forms are passed onto another human when the mosquito feeds again.

 

You can get malaria:

  • If you have been bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito
  • If you receive infected blood from a malaria patient during a blood transfusion
  • Malaria can also be transmitted from an infected mother to the child during pregnancy through the placenta, or be transferred to the baby through blood during childbirth, resulting in ‘congenital malaria’ (malaria which has been passed from mother to infant)

 

 

Symptoms of Malaria

The symptoms of the disease may occur within 1 to 3 weeks after being infected. There are 4 species of the Plasmodium parasite that can infect the female Anopheles mosquito and cause malaria in humans – P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malaria. Of these, Plasmodium falciparum is the most dangerous; a malarial infection caused by this parasite can kill rapidly.

 

A malaria patient is likely to suffer from many, if not all, of the symptoms mentioned below:

 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills and sweats
  • Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • High fever
  • Low blood pressure
  • Feeling dizzy when shifting from a lying or a sitting position to a standing position (also called Orthostatic Hypotension)
  • Muscle aches
  • Poor appetite

 

In patients infected with the P. falciparum parasite, the following symptoms may also occur:

 

  • Anaemia caused by the destruction of infected red blood cells
  • Extreme tiredness, delirium, unconsciousness, convulsions and coma
  • Kidney failure
  • Pulmonary edema (a serious condition where fluid builds up in the lungs and leads to severe breathing problems)

 

The parasites, P. vivax and P. ovale can lie dormant in the liver for up to a year before causing any symptoms. They can even remain dormant in the liver again and cause relapses later.

 

Diagnosis and Treatment Of Malaria

If you suffer from the above symptoms, do visit your doctor quickly and get your blood tested to check if the parasite is present. The doctor will also check to see if you have an enlarged spleen, which sometimes accompanies the fever of malaria. Plasmodium parasites in the blood are usually visible under the microscope. There are also simple dipstick tests that can be used to identify the P. falciparum parasite. Blood tests as well as liver and kidney function tests may be conducted to check the effects of the parasite on your health. If it is recognized early, malaria can be completely cured. The treatment chosen by your doctor depends on the following factors:

 

  • The type of malaria
  • The area you traveled to or visited when you contracted malaria
  • The severity of the illness
  • Your medical history
  • Whether you are pregnant

 

Treatment usually lasts for 3 to 7 days, depending on the medication type. To get rid of the parasite, it’s important to take the medication for the entire time period prescribed by the medical professional.

 

Preventive Measures for Malaria

The first step in safeguarding yourself and your family against the virus is to keep mosquitoes at bay as the disease is spread through them. Clear any sources of stagnating water, indoors and outdoors, as they can act as mosquito breeding grounds. Since mosquitoes are night feeders, stay away from danger zones – particularly fields, forests and swamps – from dusk to dawn to avoid being bitten. Wear pants and long-sleeved clothing that are light-coloured and comfortable as mosquitoes can bite through tight synthetic clothing and are attracted to dark colours.

 

Try the 2x power of Goodknight Activ+ at home to keep mosquitoes away. When you step outside, make sure to apply 4 dots of the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On on your clothes for up to 8 hours of protection. The more equipped you are to fight against malaria, the better. So, stay protected and Know About The Telling Signs Of Malaria And Save Yourself From Night-Time Assassins. 

 

prevent malaria with goodknight

 

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