Nearly half the population lives on this planet under the threat of malaria, still prevalent in the tropical and subtropical countries of Africa, Asia, Middle East, South America and Central America.
An estimated million die each year from this curable deadly disease.
Maleria is not contagious, nor is it a sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by a plasmodium parasite, most often transmitted via a bite from an infected mosquito. Other possible transmission causes are:
- organ transplant
- blood transfusion
- shared needles, syringes
- mother to unborn child ~ before, during delivery
Malaria causes a range of systems depending on which plasmodium parasite species infected your bloodstream. Your recurrent symptoms might involve:
- muscle aches
- nausea & vomiting
- respiratory rate increase
You may feel fine between attacks.
Of the four species that cause human fever headache misery, P. falciparum causes the most severe symptoms. And possibly death if left untreated. Couple of its particularly severe symptoms include:
- liver failure
- kidney failure
- enlarged spleen
- mental confusion
- pulmonary edema
- metabolic acidosis
You will likely feel miserable all the time, even between attacks.
There exists no vaccine for malaria. But some develop an immune system protective response with repetitive exposure.
Both treatment and prevention involve taking the same antimalarial drugs. Which type of antimalarial treatment or prevention drugs to take is contingent on:
- which species infected you
- your travel plans for exposure
Your traveling to and from malaria risk regions requires current data involving the type of malaria, where you were when infected, how sick you are and the antimalarial drugs presently used. This information is in constant flux, one notable reason is this deadly parasite’s drug resistance capability.
The CDC also recommends these measures to help prevent malaria:
- use DEET insect repellent
- sleep under mosquito netting
- buy clothing pretreated with permethrin
- apply permethrin to your clothing and shoes
- wear mosquito netting hats to protect your face and neck
- dusk to dawn wear protective clothing ~ pants and long sleeves
Preserve your health by paying a visit to a malaria expert BEFORE your Africa, Asia, Middle East, South America, Central America tropical and subtropical travels.