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In 2021, nearly half of the global population faced the risk of malaria, with an estimated 247million cases reported worldwide. The number of malaria related deaths in 2021 wasapproximately 619,000. The WHO African Region bore a disproportionately high burden,accounting for 95% of malaria cases and 96% of malaria-related deaths in the same year. Children under 5 constituted around 80% of all malaria fatalities in this region. Malaria is a life-threatening disease transmitted by certain mosquitoes, primarily prevalent in tropical countries,but it is preventable and treatable.
The infection, caused by a parasite, does not spread from person to person. Malaria symptoms can range from mild, such as fever, chills, and headache, to severe, including fatigue, confusion, seizures, and difficulty breathing. Infants, children under 5, pregnant women, travelers, and individuals with HIV or AIDS face a higher risk of severe infection.
Malaria causes include four types of malaria parasites that can infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Additionally, there is a type called P. knowlesi, which naturally infects macaques in Southeast Asia but can also infect humans, leading to a form of malaria transmitted from animals to humans, known as "zoonotic" malaria.
Malaria prevention involves avoiding mosquito bites and using medications. Malaria treatments can effectively halt the progression of mild cases. The primary mode of malaria transmission is through bites from infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, while blood transfusions and contaminated needles can also transmit the disease. Initial symptoms may be mild, resembling other febrile illnesses, making malaria recognition challenging.
Without treatment, P. falciparum malaria can rapidly escalate to severe illness and death within 24 hours. Stay ahead of malaria symptoms! Arm yourself with accurate information about the illness to stay protected.
If you're here to gain insights, delve into the details below to discover malaria symptoms, prevention, & treatment. Learn proactive measures to prevent it and master the skills to take care of your health during this vulnerable season.
The primary early malaria symptoms typically include:
Malaria symptoms usually manifest within 10–15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Some individuals, especially those who have experienced a previous malaria infection, may have mild symptoms. However, because certain malaria symptoms are not distinctive, early testing is crucial. Certain types of malaria can lead to severe illness and fatalities, with increased risk for infants, children under 5, pregnant women, travelers, and individuals with HIV or AIDS. Severe symptoms include:
● Extreme Fatigue
● Impaired Consciousness
● Multiple Convulsions
● Difficulty Breathing
● Dark Or Bloody Urine
● Jaundice (Yellowing Of The Eyes And Skin)
● Abnormal Bleeding
Immediate emergency care is essential for those experiencing severe malaria symptoms. Earlymalaria treatment for mild malaria cases can prevent the infection from progressing to a severe stage. Malaria infection during pregnancy has the potential to result in premature delivery or the birth of a baby with low birth weight.
Read in Hindi - Malaria Symptoms and Causes in Hindi
Malaria prevention involves avoiding mosquito bites and taking medications. Consult with a doctor, discussing options such as chemoprophylaxis, before traveling to malaria-prone areas. To minimize the risk of contracting malaria through mosquito bites, consider the following measures:
-Use mosquito nets when sleeping in areas where malaria is prevalent.
-Apply mosquito repellents (containing DEET, IR3535, or Icaridin) after dusk.
-Utilize coils and vaporizers.
-Wear protective clothing.
-Use window screens.
It is a crucial aspect of malaria control, employs highly effective methods such as insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS). However, global progress in malaria control faces challenges, including insecticide resistance among Anopheles mosquitoes and issues like insufficient access and changing mosquito behavior. For travelers to malaria-endemic regions, it is essential to consult with a doctor several weeks before departure.
The medical professional will prescribe suitable chemoprophylaxis drugs based on the destination country, and in some cases, these drugs need to be initiated 2–3 weeks before travel. It's crucial to adhere to the prescribed schedule and continue the prophylactic drugs for four weeks after potential exposure to infection.
It involves administering antimalarial medicines to vulnerable populations at specified intervals, irrespective of infection status. Various strategies fall under preventive chemotherapy, including perennial malaria chemoprevention (PMC), seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp), intermittent preventive treatment in school-aged children (IPTsc), post-discharge malaria chemoprevention (PDMC), and mass drug administration (MDA). These strategies, alongside existing control measures, aim to effectively prevent malaria infections.
As of October 2021, the WHO recommends widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine among children in regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission. This vaccine has demonstrated significant efficacy in reducing both malaria and severe malaria cases in young children.
Timely diagnosis and treatment of malaria symptoms play a crucial role in reducing the impact of the disease, preventing fatalities, and contributing to decreased transmission. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends confirming all suspected malaria cases through parasite-based diagnostic testing, utilizing methods such as microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests. Due to the seriousness of malaria symptoms, prompt malaria treatment with medication is always necessary. Various medicines are employed for malaria prevention and treatment, with the selection based on factors such as:
-The type of malaria.
-Whether the malaria parasite shows resistance to a particular medicine.
-The weight or age of the individual infected with malaria.
-Whether the person is pregnant.
Common medicines for malaria treatment include artemisinin-based combination therapy, such as artemether-lumefantrine, which is often highly effective. Chloroquine is recommended for treating infections caused by the P. vivax parasite, but only in regions where it remains sensitive to this medicine. Primaquine is often added to the primary treatment to prevent relapses of infections caused by the P. vivax and P. ovale parasites. Most malaria medicines are administered in pill form, but some individuals may require injectable medicines, necessitating a visit to a health center or hospital.
Malaria is a potentially fatal illness transmitted through mosquito bites carrying specificPlasmodium parasites. Malaria symptoms, such as fever and chills, may initially subside after afew days but can resurface weeks or months later. Over time, malaria can impact crucial organs in the body. Individuals intending to stay in regions where malaria is prevalent should seek guidance on antimalarialmedications and other preventive measures. If symptoms arise within a year after visiting an affected area, consulting a doctor is essential. The doctor is likely to conduct a malaria test to determine the presence of the infection. Sometimes, people say things that aren't true, so it's really important to get the right information and not to fall prey to false information. Instead, trust Medflick as your reliable guide for accurate, up-to-date, and trustworthy information on malaria symptoms and treatment as well as other health concerns. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less than informed and responsible guidance.
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