One of the most wide-spread and deadly mosquito borne diseases in the world, malaria continues to claim hundreds of thousands of victims every year. This insidious disease is presented with flu-like symptoms that commences with chills and high fever. This can later morph into presenting symptoms including, vomiting, nausea, headaches, coughing, and fatigue among others.
This disease can be diagnosed using the rapid diagnostic test or a regular laboratory blood test. This disease is largely prevalent among tropical and sub-tropical regions. The disease is transferred from the infected female of the Anopheles species of mosquitos. A dangerous characteristic of malaria is that it can be transferred from an infected mother to the foetus. In fact, even those who have had malaria are barred from giving blood for a certain duration of time. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine that can help prevent this deadly disease that still kills hundreds of thousands individuals every year. There are, however, preventive steps that can be taken to avoid the breeding of mosquitos and to plug the spread of the disease.
Determine Your Risk
It is important to find out if you are at risk of contracting malaria depending on the place where you are living or the places you travel to. Things like the time of the year, the season, or even the activities you indulge in can change your risk factor. It is important to keep in mind that humid conditions are perfect breeding grounds for the mosquitos carrying this disease.
One of the oldest, and probably the soundest technique to prevent getting bitten by mosquitos when sleeping is the classic mosquito net. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are available almost anywhere. If you are caring for an infant or a young child it is important that they are always sleeping under mosquito nets, especially if you are in an area and region with a profusion of mosquitos. Ensure that the net does not have gaping holes and that the doors and windows too are screened off to prevent the insects from entering your abode.
There are a number of mosquito repellents available in the market. From the ones you can spray on yourself to the tubes and gels that can be applied on the skin, the choices are endless. These mosquito or insect repellents will reduce the chances of you getting bitten by a malaria bearing mosquito. This is especially necessary if you are in an area with a high concentration of mosquitos and/or if you have to work outdoors during the night.
Areas with a high concentration of mosquitos are often humid and hot, making it difficult to completely cover oneself up. This, however, is one of the easiest and most effective means of keeping yourself safe from the plague of this deadly disease. It is also a good idea to treat your clothes with permethrin to increase the amount of protection your clothes provide.
Keep Your Surroundings Dry and Clean
It is one of the easiest means of ensuring that your nearby areas are not becoming breeding grounds for mosquitos. Make sure that there are no areas where water is collecting for long durations. It is important ensure that all water bearing vessels are covered and that they are not exposed to air. Mop your home every day with disinfectant to avoid the growth of any mosquitos.
Malaria Repellent Foods
Okay, so the title might be a little misleading, while these foods do not help repel mosquitos, they do help breed a certain amount of immunity against the infections they carry. These foods are simple, things like lemonade (without too much sugar, add honey instead), cinnamon powder, basil leaves, fenugreek seeds, garlic, grapefruit, etc. can help your body build a fairly good amount of immunity against most infections carried by mosquitos.
Get Antimalarials if Required
If you are in an area with a high concentration of mosquitos, or an area where malaria is prevalent, it would become imperative to use antimalarials. Consult with your healthcare provider to set you up with a dosage. If you are traveling to an area with a high concentration of disease it is important that you consult a doctor for antimalarial shots before you leave. Depending upon the kind of medication you are taking you will need to start taking it almost a couple of weeks in advance.
Treat Bedding With Repellents
It is a good idea to treat your as well as your children’s bedding and blankets with mosquito repellents. There are a number of repellents available in the market that are not unduly harmful to the human body and work very effectively. The biggest risk mosquitos pose to human beings is when we are asleep. Ensuring that your bedding is mosquito repellent will ensure that they do not get the opportunity to settle anywhere close to you.
Avoid Dark Colours
While wearing black might seem like a fashion must-have, it is definitely not advisable if you are trying to stay away from mosquitos. These insects prefer the dark to hide, and dark colours strewn around the room provide them precisely the kind of hiding spaces they require. If you feel like you have very few light coloured clothes in your wardrobe, make sure that your clothes are treated with insect repellent. But it would still be a good idea to stock up on lighter coloured clothes.
The best way to avoid the spread of this dreaded disease is to limit the spread of mosquitos. The best way to do this is to keep your surroundings clean. Make sure that there is no stale water collecting around, or inside, your home. Make sure that you are using a disinfectant when cleaning your house to get rid of any breeding colonies.
Most importantly, it is important to immediately consult a doctor when you feel like you have a fever and chills setting in. Early diagnosis is of the greatest importance, it is what will prevent the escalating of the disease in your body and help you avoid spreading the disease to unsuspecting people around you.