Ready to beat Malaria - World Malaria Day 2018

Malaria is caused by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito.

There are 5 parasite species that cause  malaria in humans and  of these P. falciparum  poses the greatest threat and is responsible for a majority of the morbidity and mortality associated with malaria.

Symptoms of Malaria

Malaria is an acute febrile illness. In a non-immune  individual, symptoms usually appear 10–15 days after the infective mosquito bite. The first symptoms are     fever, headache, and chills. This may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to  severe  illness,  often leading to death.

Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory  distress to metabolic  acidosis, or cerebral malaria.   In  adults (especially in the non-immune) multi-organ  involvement is also frequent.                                                                                                   

Who is at risk?

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Most malaria cases and deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, South-East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are also at risk.

Some population groups are at  considerably higher risk of contracting  malaria, and   developing severe disease, than others. These include infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as  non-immune migrants, mobile   populations and  travelers

Prevention

Vector control is the main way to prevent and  reduce malaria transmission.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends two forms of vector control; insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying are effective in a wide range of circumstances

Diagnosis and treatment

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Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria  reduces the severity of the  disease and prevents deaths.      It also contributes to    reducing malaria    transmission. The best available treatment, is artemisinin-based therapy. WHO recommends that all cases of suspected malaria be confirmed using      parasite-based diagnostic testing (either microscopy or rapid diagnostic test) before treatment is dministered.