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Malaria

Malaria is a blood disease that is transmitted by the anopheles mosquito. There are five types of malaria namely: plasmodium vivax, plasmodium malariae, plasmodium ovale, plasmodium falciparum, and plasmodium knowlesi. Of the five, the most fatal type is the plasmodium falciparum, which is common in some parts of Africa. In 2010, world health organization reported that 660,000 died from the disease, most of them being African children. Good news is that if the condition is diagnosed and treated early, the duration of infection is reduced, thus lowering the risks of death.

Humans become affected with malaria when the anopheles mosquito takes a blood meal from one infected person and then transmits it to another person. Malaria can also be transmitted from human to human through organ transplants, blood transfusion, and shared needles. Further, a mother can pass the disease to an infant during delivery.

Some of the symptoms related to malaria include high fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, dry cough, muscle ache, and fatigue. Note that in areas where the condition is rampant, people may not show some of these symptoms because of their boosted immunity. Still, the severity of the symptoms will depend on the stages of the condition.

The incubation time for malaria is seven days. However, it is possible for the period to stretch for several months depending on the type of malaria. For a doctor to diagnose it, they must rule out conditions such as flu, typhoid fever, and hepatitis. This is because they present the same symptoms. Once proper diagnosis has been made, treatment should be offered to the patient immediately. Drugs such as quinine, chloroquine, quinidine, and artemether-lumefantrine can be administered. Additionally, people who have severe cases of malaria should be treated as in-patients, while those showing mild symptoms can be taken through out-patient procedures.

Malaria can be prevented in various ways. Firstly, the population of mosquitoes can be reduced through insecticides. Secondly, people can use anti-malaria drugs to prevent the malaria parasite from developing in the blood. Thirdly, use of treated nets is advised. Importantly, the standards of living for people should be improved to reduce such cases. Evidently, in regions such as North America and Europe, fewer cases of malaria are reported annually even when anopheles mosquito is in existence. This is because of the presence facilities such as air conditioning and screened windows, and maintenance of proper hygienic standards. Clearly, the life-threatening malaria condition can be treated and prevented.