The persistent buzz of a mosquito in the home is infuriating. Even more infuriating is the itchy bite it leaves you if it manages to escape your clutches. In some parts of the world, mosquito bites can be more harmful than a nuisance. Some mosquitos are vectors for debilitating diseases and mosquito bites can be deadly. Malaria is one of these diseases.
Malaria is a serious disease spread by mosquitos and not contagious between humans. It takes one bite to become infected and if untreated, it can be fatal.
With over 1 million deaths reported every year, malaria is widespread. Found in over 100 countries, it is most prevalent in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, South America and the Pacific Islands
Typically, malaria symptoms develop fast, beginning to surface between 10 to 15 days after a mosquito bites. Rarely, the symptoms can take up to a year to show.
If untreated, more serious complications can develop, including jaundice, kidney failure, coma and in worst cases, death.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called a Plasmodium that infects female anopheles mosquitos. They harbour the parasite before injecting and infecting the human through their bites. After entering the body, the parasite flows through the blood stream before entering the liver and multiplying.
Tip: you can identify a female anopheles mosquito if its thorax is raised from its resting surface!
Mosquito bites are hard to avoid in infested areas, but not impossible if you follow these simple tips.
Whilst serious, almost all malaria sufferers make a full recovery provided that the infection is treated promptly. If you develop malaria symptoms, consult your doctor or your nearest medical centre immediately.
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