Malaria: Everything you need to know

macro shot of a mosquito on human skin
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Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected vector, in this case the female Anopheles mosquito. The mosquitoes by themselves do not infect us with Malaria when they bite us. They are only carriers of he protozoan(causative agent for malaria). It is this plasmodium that causes malaria.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), over 300 million cases per year are recorded worldwide, over 1.5 million cases in Nigeria per year and over 445,000 deaths from Malaria per year.

Malaria only occurs when Mosquitoes infected with the protozoan(plasmodium) bites a person and injects he plasmodium into their bloodstream. It begins to multiply in the liver and spread to other cells and tissues and then continuous exposure to mosquito bites will make the plasmodium fight and weaken the immune system(body’s defense system) against infections. Once the immune system is subdued, the symptoms of malaria will begin to show.

After an infected Mosquito bites a person and injects plasmodium into the bloodstream, the incubation period of Malaria after it gets to the bloodstream is 2 days to one Month.

CAUSES OF MALARIA
As Stated earlier, the main cause of Malaria (Malaria fever) is the plasmodium from the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito injected intola person’s bloodstream over a period of time during which the plasmodium incubates, reproduces itself and fight to subdue the immune system.

SYMPTOMS OF MALARIA
The symptoms of Malaria fever are very visible, unlike some other sicknesses that can be asymptomatic. The signs and symptoms of Malaria are:
* Fever
* Sweating
* Chills that shake the whole body
*Fatigue
* Weakness and Muscle Aches
* Nausea and Vomiting
* Loss of Appetite
* Dull or white eyes
* Chest and Abdominal pains

RISK FACTORS
Malaria is a non-communicable disease and this simply means that it cannot be transferred from one person to another as in the case of Measles or Monkeypox.

The risks of Malaria are:
* Hygiene Level: Hygiene level on individual, family and community level is a major factor in the Prevalence of Malaria vis-a-vis the spread of Mosquitoes.

* Dirty Environment: A dirty environment such as dirty pools, still water, water-logged patches, bushes, overgrown weeds, unwashed utensils, open water containers are the perfect breeding bed for mosquitoes.

* Tropical Region: People living in Tropical regions(hot regions) are at higher risk of contracting Malaria. This includes Africa, Parts of Asia like India, Pakistan, etc, Eastern Europe, South America, Oceania, and the Caribbean.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
There are various tests that can be done to confirm/diagnose malaria fever especially when the symptoms have manifested. The tests include:
* Physical examination where the Doctor takes your vitals and asks you some questions including your symptoms and recent travel history.

* Blood tests: this is the most reliable test which involves using syringe to take some volumes of blood sample for testing against some standard reagents and solvents and dyes(stains). This test indicates the parasite, and which medication is best suited to treat it.

TREATMENT
Treatment for Malaria is simple and some times complicated which is why a medical professional should be the one prescribing the drugs. In treating Malaria, these factors will be put into consideration before drugs are prescribed:
– Age
– Pregnancy status(for females)
– Type of Parasite
– The severity of Symptoms.

DRUGS
P-Alaxin is one of the effective drugs used in the battle against malaria. It’s of high quality and it’s made with effective artemisinin-based combination therapy which contains dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine phosphate.

It is an effective antimalaria drug that offers immediate response cure of malaria and benefits of post-treatment prophylaxis.

P-Alaxin offers both immediate cure of malaria and also the benefit of post-treatment prophylaxis. In other words, P-Alaxin cures the patients of their malaria and equally protects them from coming down with malaria for at least 1 month after treatment even when they are bitten by mosquitoes”.