By Angela Bekiaris: Malaria as a disease caused by a parasite which is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. According to mayoclinic.org, while the disease is uncommon in temperate climates, it is still common in tropical and subtropical countries. People who have malaria usually feel very sick, with a high fever and shaking chills. According to reports, Most of the people who die from the disease are young children in Africa.
Did You Know?
mayoclinic.org reports that because the parasites that cause malaria affect red blood cells, people can also catch malaria from exposure to infected blood, including from mother to unborn child; through blood transfusions; and by sharing needles used to inject drugs.
The biggest risk factor for developing malaria is to live in or to visit areas where the disease is common. There are many different varieties of malaria parasites, however the variety that causes the most serious complications is most commonly found in:
- African countries south of the Sahara Desert
- The Asian subcontinent
- New Guinea, the Dominican Republic and Haiti
People at increased risk of serious disease include:
- Young children and infants
- Older adults
- Travelers coming from areas with no malaria
- Pregnant women and their unborn children
Did You Know?
According to mayoclinic.org, poverty, lack of knowledge, and little or no access to health care also contribute to malaria deaths worldwide.
8 Symptoms To Look Out For
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pain and fatigue
- Chest or abdominal pain
It Can Be Fatal
This is a scary fact, but it can be fatal, particularly malaria caused by the variety of parasite that’s common in tropical parts of Africa, report experts. According to the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 91 percent of all deaths occur in Africa — most commonly in children under the age of five.
BEWARE! Malaria May Recur
Some varieties of the malaria parasite, which typically cause milder forms of the disease, can persist for years and cause relapses, explain experts.
TIP: Prevention Is Key
It is vital to take the correct steps if you are traveling to an area where malaria is common. Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn — protect yourself from mosquito bites by:
- Covering your skin with long pants and long-sleeved tops.
- Applying insect repellant to skin and clothing — especially when outdoors.
- Sleeping under a net.
- Taking preventive medicine. Always chat to your medical professional first.
The malaria vaccine gives partial protection against malaria in young children, against Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite worldwide and most prevalent on our continent. Anti malaria medication is still advised.
Did You Know?
Cheryl Cole and JFK are some of the many celebrities to be struck down by Malaria. While on holiday in Tanzania, X Factor judge Cole was hit by the disease in 2010; Hollywood actor Michael Caine caught a rare form of the disease; and late US president John F Kennedy picked it up while stationed in the Pacific during World War Two.
Courtesy of www.mayoclinic.org