How to Prevent Malaria
This article provides a brief introduction of Malaria and provides useful information on how to prevent this killer disease.
Malaria is a dreadful mosquito-borne disease. It is transmitted by bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes. This infectious disease is wide spread in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which infects RBC (Red Blood Cells). Fever, chills, pain, vomiting, diarrhea and sweating are some symptoms of Malaria. More than a million people die all over the world due to malaria every year. Unfortunately most of them are children. Ninety percent of malarial deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
Steps To Prevent Malaria:
Malaria is one of those diseases which can be prevented effectively. Experts are of the opinion that prevention of Malaria is less expensive than treatment. Here are some steps which if followed can prevent this disease:
Eliminating mosquitoes: Many developed countries in Europe and North America have succeeded to a large extent in preventing Malaria by taking effective steps in controlling mosquitoes. Improved sanitation facilities, draining wetland which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, breeding natural enemies of mosquitoes (like mosquito fish, dragon flies etc), making effective use of pesticides, spraying insecticides on the interior walls of houses, educating people to use mosquito nets and repellents and providing mosquito nets and repellents to those who cannot afford them are some steps which are sure to give positive results. Sterile insect technique is being used now a days to control mosquitoes. Efforts are also on to create malaria-resistant mosquitoes. Research is also on to see if it would be possible to use lasers to kill mosquitoes.
Preventive drugs: There are no effective vaccines for malarial. But some drugs like doxycycline and mefloquine, which are used in treatment of Malaria, can also be used to prevent the disease. But these drugs should be taken only after consulting a certified physician.
Precautions while traveling: Travelers should avoid visiting places where there is an outbreak of Malaria. If the visit is inevitable, they should wear appropriate cloths and should take appropriate steps (nets, repellents, etc) to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes. The website http://www.cdc.gov/travel provides useful information regarding this.
Malaria is a killer disease. But by taking effective steps to prevent this disease, many precious lives can be saved.