MALARIA; Symptoms, Prevention and Control

MALARIA. (Plasmodium infection)

               A disease caused by a plasmodium parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The severity of malaria varies based on the species of plasmodium.

The World Health Organization (WHO) World Malaria Report 2021 estimates that there were 241 million malaria cases, including 627,000 deaths, worldwide in 2020, which represents around 14 million more cases, and 69,000 more deaths, than 2019.

         In Nigeria, we account for the highest percentage of all malaria deaths in that period with 31.9%. The wet season is upon us which signifies an increased opportunity for mosquitoes to lay eggs which in turn leads to an increase in number of malaria cases.

CLINICAL SYMPTOMS

Requires a medical diagnosis-:

Symptoms are chills, fever and sweating, usually occurring a few weeks after being bitten.

People may experience:

Pain areas: in the muscles or abdomen

Whole body: fever, chills, fatigue, malaise, shivering, or sweating

Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting

Also common: headache, fast heart rate, or pale skin

  PREVENTION AND CONTROL

  1. Personal protection measures against mosquito bites –

Because of the nocturnal feeding habits of most of Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria transmission occurs primarily at night. Personal protective measures to reduce the risk of mosquito bites include the use of mosquito nets (preferably insecticide-treated nets), sleeping or resting in screened or air-conditioned rooms, the wearing of clothes that cover most of the body, and the use of mosquito repellent in accordance with the instructions indicated on the product label.

2. Mosquito control

Vector control measures depend on vector species, mosquito biology, epidemiological context, cost and acceptability by populations. The main current measures are focused on reduction of the contact between mosquitoes and humans, the destruction of larvae by environmental management and the use of larvicides or mosquito larvae predators, and destruction of adult mosquitoes by indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated bed nets

3. Use of immune boosters

Food supplements help strengthen our body’s immunity against infections and will limit the severity of the infection when exposed.

For more information consult your pharmacist.

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