Recognize and Prevent the Symptoms of Malaria

Are you familiar with malaria and know what malaria symptoms are? Do you know how malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes? Let’s begin with how malaria is transmitted.

How Malaria is Transmitted

Mosquitoes that are infected with malaria spread the disease through biting.

When bitten by one of these mosquitoes, parasites with malaria flow into your bloodstream and begin to attack the cells of your liver. Once in the liver, the malarial parasite begins to multiply inside the cells of the liver, which then break open and allow many more parasites to invade the bloodstream and infect your red blood cells.

Then the process repeats itself: reproduction, infection, and so on.

Symptoms of Malaria

When you are first infected with malaria, symptoms may not appear until about:

  • For Plasmodium, about 9 – 14 days.
  • For P. Vivax and P. Ovale, about 12 – 18 days.
  • For P. Malariae, 18 – 40 days.

The rate at which you acquire malaria symptoms may be longer because of medication to prevent disease, which is chemoprophlyaxis. Or you may have acquitted a slight resistance from past contractions.

Symptoms of a flu-like nature may occur in the beginningstages of malaria. Also, infection from P. Falciparum is like infection from P. Vivax, P. Malariae, and P. Ovale. In some cases, little or no symptoms may be present if you are resistant or slightly resistant to malaria. Malaria symptoms seen in many patients include:

  • A fever.
  • Temperatures that rise at a very rapid rate and some chills.
  • Severe sweating, nausea, headaches.

Malaria symptoms appear in cycles. The length between these stages of fever and other symptoms may vary because of the specific parasite you have. The stages of Malaria are:

  • Every two days with the P. Vivax or P. Ovale virus.
  • Every three days with the P. Malariae virus.

The one virus that does not really have a fever with stages is P. Falciparum.

After malaria progresses, you can develop complications that are dangerous to your life. These complications include permanent problems or even death.

Protect Against and Prevent Malaria

Shielding yourself from mosquitoes and using antimalarial medicine are some forms of malaria prevention. Even with this said, it is strongly recommended that young kids and pregnant women should reconsider going to places where malaria occurs commonly. Malaria prevention begins with a sound common-sense approach to staying safe.

There are many ways to stay protected from mosquito bites. Use these simple malaria prevention tips to stay protected:

  1. Make sure you are inside during dusk and dawn. Stay inside rooms with screens or air conditioners.
  2. Make sure you wear clothes with long sleeves. They should cover and protect your skin.
  3. Always use insect repellent containing DEET, which is diethylmetatoluamide. It comes in many strengths up to 100 percent. The recommended strength for kids is 24 percent or less. Any more than this can cause too much of the chemical to be absorbed through the skin.
  4. Cover mosquito nets with an insecticide like deltamethrin or permethrin.
  5. Always use winged-insect spray around places where sleeping often occurs.
  6. If you are either a child, a senior, or are a pregnant woman, stay away from places where mosquitoes and malaria are known to be.
  7. Using a mosquito net on your bed that is treated with insecticide is one way to prevent malaria. Another is to make sure you spray your apparel with repellents as well. This will reduce the chance of malaria infection.

Some other things you can do to prevent contracting malaria include turning on air conditioning, making use of electric fans, picking long sleeve shirts and pants for clothing, and take antimalarial medications.

When traveling to places that are known to have malaria, make sure you take all your medicine on time. This is because most people who get malaria do not go by the medicinal dosing calendar. Also, use the malaria prevention tips previously mentioned. These will go a long ways in insuring a safe and malaria-free vacation.

At the first sign of any of the above-mentioned malaria symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Malaria is a very deadly disease and time is of the essence in receiving proper life saving treatment.

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