Malaria is an avoidable disease – but millions of people around the world still contract it every year, with hundreds of thousands of these people dying. Most of these deaths are from African children.
What you need to know about the disease on April 25, World Malaria Day
History of Malaria
The word "malaria" in Italian means "bad air" and has been used since the early 18th century. The disease itself, however, should be at least a few thousand years ago. Ancient Chinese medical documents describe symptoms of malaria, including one that persisted until 2700 BC. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In ancient Greece, in the 4th century BC Chr., Malaria was responsible for the population of different city states. The famous physician Hippocrates, one of the most remarkable personalities of ancient medicine, was one of the people who recorded his symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 21
Signs of malaria include chills and fever. People who are infected can also experience sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches and other body aches. The symptoms usually appear in the first few weeks after a patient has been bitten by a carrier mosquito. In severe cases, malaria can cause complications such as organ failure; hypoglycemia; Anemia; Brain swelling; and fluid accumulation in the lungs.
"In countries where malaria is rare, these symptoms can be attributed to flu, cold or other common infections if malaria is not suspected "says the CDC.
A parasite transmitted to a human by a mosquito bite causing the infection in most cases. But humans can also acquire malaria through a blood transfusion. A pregnant mother can also pass on malaria to her baby, while drug users can spread the disease by sharing needles.
How to Prevent It
Although there is no approved vaccine for malaria, there are ways to prevent a bite from an infected mosquito. These include sleeping under a mosquito net, spraying the house and clothing with insecticides or insect repellent, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants between sunset and sunrise.
Malaria drugs are also often used as a preventative measure, when people travel to tropical areas there is an increased risk of infection.