Malaria: Symptoms and Precautions You Must Know
It has no vaccine. It can be life threatening. Nearly half the world and 1 in 7 Indians are at risk of contracting it. This dangerous protozoa fever is nothing else but malaria. With the monsoon’s warmth and humidity in the air, it’s that time of the year when the malaria mosquito or the Anopheles mosquito is the most active. Continue reading to know what symptoms you shouldn’t ignore and the steps you can take to safeguard yourself from this malady.
Malaria is caused by Plasmodium protozoa which entre one’s body after being bitten by a female Anopheles mosquito. The male mosquitoes only feed on plant nectar while the females feed on human blood to nurture their eggs. The symptoms of malaria appear after 10 to 15 days after the infected bite. The earlier the detection, the less fatal malaria proves to be; so keep a lookout for the following symptoms:
- It starts with uncontrollable shivering and chills or feeling cold.
- After experiencing the chills for about 2 hours the body is inflicted with high fever. This condition lasts for 3 to 6 hours.
- The fever then subsides rapidly leading to profuse sweating.
- This cycle of chills-fever-sweat reoccurs every 2-3 days.
- Headache, nausea and muscle pain are some other symptoms that accompany the above mentioned signs.
Malaria is curable. If you experience the aforesaid symptoms visit the doctor immediately. A delay in its treatment can aggravate the symptoms and can lead to severe anaemia as the spleen (the organ that produces and detoxifies the blood) gets damaged by the protozoa. Out of all the four types of Plasmodium protozoa, the P. falciparum is the most fatal one. It accounts for half of all the malaria cases in the world and 95% of deaths. Here’s the reason why. This strain of protozoa thickens the blood, which means reduced circulation of oxygen throughout the body. Such a condition can lead to cerebral malaria (damages the brain functions), kidney failure, liver failure, coma and even death if not treated right away.
The most vulnerable victims of malaria are children under 5 years, pregnant women and people who have low immunity. Here are some precautions you should take this monsoon to keep yourself and your family safe:
- Use mosquito repellent nets, coils, spays, and creams to shoo away and kill the malaria bugs.
- Keeps lawns mowed and bushes trimmed.
- Avoid water stagnation. Fill water puddles near your area with insecticides or petrol or sand as these flying insects breed only in cool, dark and moist conditions.
- Be more vigilant while sleeping as the Anopheles mosquito is more active during the night since it’s the time when it’s thermal and odour senses are at its peak.
- Avoid crowed areas after dark. The more the people, the more the presence of carbon dioxide in the air and more the chances of being attacked by mosquitoes because carbon dioxide attracts mosquitoes.
- Avoid consumption of beer. The aroma of beer exuded from the body too attracts mosquitoes.
- Boost your immunity to resist the germs better. Consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin C rich foods, zinc rich foods, yoghurt, turmeric milk and a lot of water.
These suggestions will definitely help keep malaria at bay but if you experience any malaria symptoms, consult your doctor and visit a diagnostic centre such as Apollo Diagnostics and get tested immediately. The pathological technicians at Apollo Diagnostics will be able to diagnose your condition accurately using their expertise, experience, and state-of- the-art technology. Apollo Diagnostics even provides a free home collection service for your ease and convenience.