It is the rainy season once again and the Department of Health is once again issuing warnings in order to prevent the outbreak of Malaria and Dengue. In a related post, we tackled Dengue Fever. In this article, let us talk about ways to prevent and cure Malaria.
The Anopheles Mosquito
Malaria is usually transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito and is passed on to other humans, creating an outbreak. It is said that in malaria in Africa, kills millions of people each year.
There are 4 species of malaria parasites: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale. In the Philippines, the Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the common species of malaria (70%- P. falciparum and 30%- P. vivax).
The malaria mosquito (anopheles) attacks from dusk to dawn and it breeds in clear, slow flowing streams that normally found in mountainous/forested areas or in brackish water where salt and fresh water meet.
Here are some measures on how to avoid Malaria:
- Wear long pants and long sleeved clothing especially during dusk and dawn when the malaria causing mosquitoes are most active.
- Clean your surroundings. Dispose the old tires and any object that can hold water in in your backyard and garage. Clear all drainages and waterways in order to keep the water free flowing.
- Keep insects out of the house. Install insect screens in all windows and mount a screen door in every doorway. Keep the screen windows and doors closed at all times in order to prevent any mosquito from entering the house. Also keep all bedroom doors closed.
- Insect repellent. One hour prior to sleeping, close all bedroom windows and doors and spray the room with insecticide to kill any insect that could have slipped into the room. Thirty minutes after spraying, open the windows (but keep the screens firmly closed) to allow the toxic insecticide to leave the room. Remember that insecticides are poisonous. Remove all types of food and utensils from the room before spraying it with insecticide.
- Mosquito Net. Use it when you sleep.
- Avoid strong aftershaves and perfumes. Strong smell attracts mosquitoes.
- Lights Off. Light attracts mosquitos. Switch it off when you sleep to minimize the number of mosquitoes that will be tempted to go to your room.
- Insect repellant Use Off lotion or any of those insect repellent that can be applied on expose skin to keep away mosquitoes
- When going to a Malaria endemic area, get a prescription for Malaria (Chemoprophylaxis) pills and strictly follow the correct dosage prescribed. While this will not guarantee that you will be immune to the disease, it will be a big help.
- In case symptoms indicative of possible malaria infection at any time, consult a doctor and inform him of the trip to a Malaria endemic area and of your suspicion of possible infection in order for doctor to prescribe the appropriate tests.
Here are indications of possible malaria infection:
* Too much sweating when fever subsides