Any person with high temperature that is fever along with any of the following symptoms: sweats and chills, headaches, nausea and vomiting, muscle pains, diarrhoea ,if present can be suffering from Malaria. Severe cases of Malaria can also lead to generalized convulsions, coma, symptoms of shock, spontaneous bleeding, pulmonary edema or accumulation of fluid in lungs, kidney failure and death.According to the World Malaria Report 2016, there were 212 million cases of malaria globally in 2015 and 429 000 malaria deaths. According to National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme in India, the Annual Parasite Incidence (API) rate was 0.85 per thousand in 2016 and confirmed deaths due to malaria was 331. However some studies have reported much higher rates.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasite. The parasite can be spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. There are many different types of plasmodium parasites, but only five types cause malaria in humans.
The plasmodium parasite is spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes. If a mosquito bites a person already infected with malaria, it can also become infected and spread the parasite on to other people. However, malaria cannot be spread directly from person to person. Once bitten by an infected anopheles mosquito, the parasite enters the bloodstream and travels to the liver. The infection develops in the liver before re-entering the bloodstream and invading the red blood cells. The parasites grow and multiply in the red blood cells. At regular intervals, the infected blood cells burst, releasing more parasites into the blood. Infected blood cells usually burst every 48-72 hours. Each time they burst, there is a bout of fever, chills and sweating.
Whatever the status of symptoms, it is always necessary to consult qualified health care professional for management.Meanwhile some home based remedies can be started on like: (1) application of cold compresses to help body temperature come down quickly.Take a long sheet of cloth and dip in water and wrap it around the whole body. Let it stay for at least ten minutes and this can be done three times a day to reduce high temperatures; (2) Drinking warm water frequently during the day to cleanse the bowel system and to keep the body hydrated this helps in proper functioning of the body.
Management of Malaria at the health care facility consists of any or all of the listed points (ONE) diagnosis of malaria by microscopic examination of stained thick and thin blood smear; (TWO) diagnosis of malaria by Rapid Diagnostic Test kits. They are based on the detection of circulating parasite antigens. Several types of RDTs are available. Some of them can only detect falciparum, while others can detect other parasite species also; (THREE) cases diagnosed as malaria by RDT or microscopy will be treated with one or a combination of antimalarials.
Prevention of malaria involves protecting yourself against mosquito bites and taking antimalarial medicines. It’s not possible to avoid mosquito bites completely, but the less one is bitten, the less one is likely to get malaria. To avoid being bitten: one should stay somewhere that has effective air circulation and screening on doors and windows. If this is not possible, make sure doors and windows are closed properly. If not sleeping in an air-conditioned room, sleep under an intact mosquito net that has been treated with insecticide. Use insect repellent on your skin and in sleeping environments. Remember to reapply it frequently. Effective mosquito repellents are available in sprays, roll-ons, sticks and creams. Wear light, loose-fitting trousers rather than shorts, and wear shirts with long sleeves. This is particularly important during early evening and at night, when mosquitoes prefer to feed. There’s currently no vaccine available that offers protection against malaria, so it is very important to take antimalarial medication to reduce your chances of getting the disease. However, antimalarial only reduce your risk of infection and does not offer full protection, so taking steps to avoid bites is also important.Elimination of pathogen reservoir where the bacteria, viruses and parasites breed and multiply, educating people and health workers on early identification and faster management as we are trying through this video series will also probably help in the prevention of Malaria.
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