Malaria is an extremely serious and even fatal illness caused by a specific type of mosquito that mainly attacks a specific group of humans who are often exposed to this type of insect. The name ‘malaria’ comes from the word malus, meaning ‘little blood’.
This type of malaria usually affects children, the elderly, and those with other immune-compromised groups in addition to those with no history of malaria. Due to the risk of contracting malaria, it is imperative that one be up to date on accurate information and learn as much about the disease as possible.
Individuals who get malaria are often highly contagious with high fever, severe headache, and vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea. There are warning signs when it could develop, however, and even before symptoms appear.
There are currently three large areas in the world where malaria occurs
- South Asia
- Central America
In South Asia, there are malaria cases in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Cambodia. In the west and central Africa, malaria occurs in
- Ivory Coast
- Ghana, Mali
- Burkina Faso
- Cote D’Ivoire
In Central America, malaria occurs mostly in
- Nicaragua Canal
When traveling to these areas, it is important to be informed about malaria and how to prevent and treat this infection. One of the best methods to prevent contracting malaria is not to come in contact with mosquitoes while traveling or using insecticides around water.
Individuals should also be wary of stagnant pools and stagnant lakes
These can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes, giving them a chance to lay their eggs. Individuals should also be sure to wash themselves and any clothes they may use immediately after using them.
Some travelers who develop malaria experience no symptoms, so they do not become sick, or they may develop a complication during treatment if they do contract symptoms. If you do get malaria, there are several different ways to get malaria treatment.
If symptoms appear you can take oral medications such as amoxicillin, doxycycline, or sulfamethoxazole, or take preventive measures such as insect repellent, bedding and towels that cover your body, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating foods low in carbohydrates.
Preventive measures should also be taken to avoid contact with sick people or animals
The most vital organs most susceptible to developing symptoms after contracting uncomplicated malaria are the kidney and liver. These organs require large quantities of oxygen and nutrients to function properly.
In the case of severe infections, patients can even suffer from organ damage and death. Malaria can cause damage to the brain or central nervous system, resulting in seizures and even comas.
It is very important to seek treatment immediately after you contract malaria to prevent any further spread of the disease. Untreated infections can lead to secondary infections, which means you will get another chance at getting infected again. This cycle of repeated occurrence can lead to serious health problems and can even result in death.
Symptoms of Malaria may include
- High fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pains
- Stomach cramps
- Bleeding of the mucous membrane
- Loss of consciousness
- Fluid retention
- Impaired blood clotting
- Abnormal heart rhythms
If you experience any of these symptoms after having contact with a person with malaria, do not delay your doctor’s visit. You will need to be treated with antimalarials and other medications to control the infection.
To prevent secondary infections, make sure to wash all your personal items in hot water and use clean bedding and towels. Avoid using insect repellents, and protect yourself from mosquitoes and other pests.
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