Every April 25, World Malaria Day is commemorated. This annual event is part of a global effort to promote malaria awareness and funding for treatment and its prevention.
Malaria is a disease that is spread in tropical Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines. The Plasmodium protozoa parasite is transmitted to humans by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.
The transmission cycle begins when an uninfected mosquito becomes infected by feeding on a person with malaria. Later on, the infected mosquito can then transmit malaria through their bite. Once the Plasmodium protozoa parasite enters the blood, they travel towards the liver to develop. They may remain dormant in the liver for as long as a year. When the parasite matures, they now invade the red blood cells. This is when the infected person develops symptoms of Malaria.
Malaria Signs and Symptoms
The following symptoms should be monitored to determine if there is malaria. Because these are common symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor to make sure:
• High fever;
• Abdominal pain that may be accompanied by diarrhea;
• Pain in muscles or joints;
• Fast heart rate and respiration
If you or someone you know has been affected by Malaria, here are things you should do:
• Use cool compress and apply on the patient’s forehead.
• Fever can cause insensible water loss in the body. To prevent dehydration from setting in, it is important to offer the patient a small and frequent intake of fluids (water, natural fruit juices, oral rehydrating salt solutions).
• Follow your doctor’s advice on the corresponding treatments and medication to ensure complete recovery.
If malaria symptoms do not go away with medication and rest, do not hesitate to take the patient to the nearest doctor or hospital to avoid complications.
To prevent malaria disease, practice the following:
• Sleep under a mosquito net if at all possible. Protect your family from mosquito bites, especially if you have pets, to avoid other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue.
• Use insect repellent. There are many insect repellents available to protect the skin from mosquito bites. It can be lotions, sprays, and stickers on children.
• Put on clothing that covers your skin. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when going to dark areas such as garages and playgrounds.
• Keep your surroundings clean. Also clean gutters and containers with stagnant water to keep mosquitoes out of bed.
• Avoid using scented soaps to keep from attracting mosquitoes.
• Use insecticide in and around the house, especially during summer, when mosquitoes are more numerous.
• Boost the immune system. As with any disease, strengthen the body’s defenses against various diseases by eating well, getting enough rest, and leading an active lifestyle.
Let us do our part in creating awareness about malaria and sharing our knowledge on how to prevent it. In our own way, we might be saving a life. For any other questions about Malaria, our doctors are a call away to give you the care that comforts.