Everything You Need to Know About Malaria read
Dec 02 20201214 Views
Malaria is a serious illness caused by a parasite known as the Plasmodium parasite. This is typically transmitted when an infected mosquito bites a human. The infected mosquito carries the Plasmodium parasite, which then gets transferred to the bloodstream when it bites the person.
Once the parasite enters the body, it travels to the liver and later begins to affect the red blood cells. If not treated well on time, malaria can lead to life-threatening complications.
Sign and Symptoms of Malaria
Typically the symptoms of malaria develop within 10 to 4 weeks once the person gets infected. In some cases, it may even take months for the onset of the symptoms. People who do experience the malaria symptoms complain of the following:
- High fever
- Muscle Pain
- Bloody stools
If the disease does not get proper treatment, it may lead to complications such as:
- Organ failure
- Swelling and rupture of the spleen
- Abnormally low blood sugar
- Breathing problems
- Cerebral malaria characterised by coma and seizures
Causes of Malaria
The main cause of malaria is a parasite that gets transmitted through an infected female anopheles mosquito. There are mainly four types of plasmodium parasite that cause malaria in humans. These include :
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Plasmodium vivax
- Plasmodium ovale, and
- Plasmodium malariae
The parasite multiplies in the liver and then affects the red blood cells.
Other than a bite of a mosquito, malaria can also spread through blood transfusion and other cases of needle sharing. It can also be transmitted from a mother to an unborn child.
When the symptoms of malaria occur, the best thing to do is seek medical attention as soon as possible. During the doctor’s visit, you will first have to go through a diagnosis. Below are the steps by which malaria can be diagnosed :
- The doctor begins with a physical examination to check the symptoms and will ask for your medical history.
- To confirm the presence of the parasite, certain blood tests will also be recommended. The tests will also help determine the type of malaria and how much it has affected the patient.
- If the tests show the presence of malaria infection, the doctor will then begin the suitable treatment.
The treatment of malaria usually involves various medicines that destroy the parasite. The medicine prescription may vary depending on the type of malaria, patient’s age and severity of the symptoms. These factors also determine if the patient must get the treatment at the hospital or at home.
In most cases, doctors advise the patients to get treatment at the hospital under the supervision of health experts.
Home Remedies of Malaria
Other than medicines, various home remedies prove helpful in treating malaria. Some of the common effective home remedies that can alleviate the symptoms are as follows:
- Cinnamon: Since it is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, cinnamon helps in treating malaria symptoms. Just add cinnamon in hot water along with honey and black pepper, and drink the solution once or twice a day.
- Turmeric: Turmeric helps in flushing out toxins from the body while killing the malaria parasite. You can drink it with milk every night.
- Orange Juice: This one boosts immunity and can help in fighting off the malaria parasite. Orange also reduces fever and makes you feel better.
- Ginger: Ginger and honey in water can provide relief from nausea and pain during malaria.
- Holy Basil: These are quite beneficial for treating malaria symptoms. You can consume them in raw form or make a concoction to drink regularly.
Other than these, you can also use grapefruit, lemon and apple cider vinegar to fight the infection and reduce the painful symptoms.
Prevention of Malaria
While the treatment of malaria is easily available, you must follow preventive measures to ensure the infection does not occur in the first place. This becomes much more important if you live or are travelling in an area where malaria is common.
Below are some of the common steps and precautions you can take to avoid malaria:
- Cover the Skin: Always wear fully-covered clothes with long sleeves to avoid mosquito bites.
- Use Mosquito Repellent: There are various insect repellents and sprays available that keep the mosquitoes away.
- Use a Net: You can use bed nets while sleeping to prevent mosquito bites.
- Preventive Medicine: In case you are travelling to an area where malaria is common, consult your doctor for a medicine prescription that can prevent the disease.
Malaria is a preventable disease, and with more attention and resources, its prevention, control and treatment are possible. Most individual and family health insurance plans cover malaria in the basic plan that takes care of the medical expenses incurred on its treatment.