By| Published: April 24th, 2017
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites and is transmitted through the bite of an infected ‘Anopheles’ mosquito that is found in tropical and subtropical climates.The parasites from the infected mosquito bite, travel up to the liver, and once matured they enter the bloodstream and infect the red blood cells. The parasites are known to multiply depending on intensity of transmission considering the climate and the human host.
Malaria and its Symptoms:
Typically, it takes over a week or two for the infected individual to detect the symptoms.In some cases, the infected individuals overlook it owing to the lack of significant symptoms.
The common symptoms include:
However, in complicated cases, the infected individual can witness symptoms within few hours, or every second day along with increased chances of mixed symptoms. If untreated, malaria can progress to severe illness and can as well lead to death.
Malaria can also be transmitted through:
- Blood Transfusions
- Mother to unborn child
- Sharing needles used to inject drugs
How to monitor?
Malaria can be monitored in people to avoid the risk and it includes infants and children, pregnant women as well as travellers coming from areas with malaria. Poverty, lack of knowledge, little or no access to healthcare could be few reasons as to why one could get diagnosed with malaria.
Breathing Issues: Malaria can sometimes cause breathing problems where it accumulates fluid in the lungs.
Cerebral Malaria: In some cases, malaria even can damage the brain or even leave the individual in coma. This usually happens when the parasite-filled blood cells block small blood vessels to the brain causing swelling of the brain.
Organ Failure: It can cause kidneys and liver to fail, or even lead to spleen rupture, thus leading to organ failure.
Anaemia: Malaria is known to damage the red blood cells, making the individuals anaemic.
Low Blood Sugar: Severe forms of Malaria cause low blood sugar, and the medication Quinine that combats the disease also is known to lower the sugar in the blood. Low blood sugar can result in coma or death.
The government and many healthcares work together to combat this serious disease. However, as responsible adults, we can do our bit, thus moving a step closer to eradicate this disease
- Consult healthcare specialist before travelling
- Regularly fumigate home, surroundings and workplace
- Cover the skin and sleep under net
- Get vaccinated as and when needed
- Avoid accumulation of water.
Nutrition to consider:
Nutrition also plays an important role in fighting against the disease. Foods that help strengthen the immune system should be considered
- Safe drinking water for consumption is suggestible. Fever leads to the loss of electrolytes and the body water, thus weakening the immune system. Juices, glucose water, buttermilk and few others can help supplement.
- Foods that are light on the digestive system should be considered. Bland, non-spicy foods, and foods that supplement the important vitamins and minerals should also be considered.
- Staying away from caffeine, processed foods, condiments, pickles, alcoholic beverages, red meat and some sweets, can help in the long run.
Good health is a sign of good living and as Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.