The monsoons bring with them a range of various infectious diseases. It is important to be aware and ensure your good health. Here are the 10 things to keep in mind about malaria.
The Monsoon is now just a few weeks away. Along with the torrential rain will come the silent attacks of the female Anopheles mosquito. One of the deadliest disease without a vaccine, Malaria, comes without a warning. A single bite leaves the parasite Plasmodium in the victims blood. The parasite travels through the blood and lodges in the liver. Once it matures in the liver, it bursts into the bloodstream and spreads across the body.
This breed of mosquito is usually water-borne. After heavy rainfall, waterlogged places become their breeding ground. Therefore, anyone living in the nearby area can easily become the target. Men, women (especially pregnant) and children are all equally at risk to Malaria. Caution and hygiene are the only two ways to keep this deadly disease at bay.
Keep in mind: 10 things about Malaria
1. The pattern: Malaria is characterized by a classic cyclical pattern. Symptoms of high fever, vomiting, chills, and headache repeat once every 2 or 3 days depending on the species of the mosquito.
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2. The fearsome four: There are 4 kinds of Malaria parasites- Plasmodium Vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium Ovale and Plasmodium Malariae
3. Test, not a vaccine: Unfortunately there is no vaccine for Malaria. The Malaria Rapid Antigen Test reveals the presence of Plasmodium. Your doctor may also advise a smear for Malaria parasite and a Liver function test.
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4. Medical menace: Malaria can take up to 3-4 weeks (depending on the severity) to get completely cured. Over this period your doctor may prescribe a series of medicines such as Chloroquine, Quinine, Mefloquine, Primaquine, Artesunate, Artemether, and Lumefantrine.
5. Delayed reaction may be fatal: Malaria can soon give rise to other complications. It can cause Anemia, fluid buildup in lungs, and even liver & kidney failure. Cerebral Malaria can lead to brain damage and even coma or death.
Also Read about - Anemia Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment
6. Stay covered: Want to keep Malaria away? Try and dont get bitten. Close your doors and windows, use mosquito repellent and wear long sleeves during Monsoon as much as possible.
7. Log out of waterlogging: Do not store water in open containers in the house. Get waterlogged places cleared up near where you live.
8. Downsize the diet: Modify your diet to eat only easily digestible food. Drink a lot of vegetable soup.
9. Hydration therapy: Drink at least 3-4 litres of water every day during the recovery.
10. Travel with care: If you are travelling and are bound to pass through a Malaria-endemic region, ask your doctor for the preventive measures available.
Article by Dr.Chaitanya Kiran Kota, M.B.B.S, Masters in Public Health
Consultant Physician, CallHealth
Have a question? Consult Dr Chaitanya online.