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What is Malaria?

By on June 27, 2012 in Diseases, Health with 0 Comments

 

What is malaria?

Malaria is an infection in the red blood cells. It is spread by mosquitoes infected by a parasite. If bitten by an infected mosquito, the parasite can enter the blood. The parasite lays eggs that give rise to more parasites that feed on the blood cells until the person becomes seriously ill. If not treated, malaria can quickly become very serious and can even be fatal.

What are the symptoms of malaria?

Malaria symptoms include:

  • High fever (often can be 104 ° F and higher).
  • Chills.
  • Extreme sweating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Discomfort (called malaise) and body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.

Where is malaria most common?

Malaria is a health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, among which include parts of Central and South America, Spain, Africa, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and South Pacific. It can also be a problem for people visiting these countries. If you travel to a tropical area or country where malaria is common, you should be aware of the risk and take some precautions.

How can I protect myself against getting malaria?

You must do everything possible to avoid mosquito bites. If you can, sleep in a room with screens on windows and doors. Use mosquito netting over the bed. If possible, spray the netting with permethrin, a spray that repels mosquitoes. Near dusk, wear light-colored pants and shirts with long sleeves. It is important to be protected with an insect repellent spray containing not more than 35% of a chemical called DEET. Avoid unprotected out near dusk, when, usually mosquitoes are most active. Medications are also available to help prevent malaria.

 

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