Fever n' ague
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by parasitic protozoans called plasmodium. Most of the time, when you get sick the germs travel through the air. But plasmodium travels by mosquito, yes, the annoying little bugs that like to bite.
- Mosquito: Anopheles. Image. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <http://media1.school.eb.com/eb-media/79/145279-050-B01EAAED.jpg>.
How do you know you have Malaria? Well, some of the signs and symptoms of this feverish disease are fever, chills. headache, other flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, fatigue, vomiting, and jaundice (low blood cell counts). In more severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death.
You can prevent yourself from getting malaria by using mosquito nets and insect repellents or by spraying insecticides and draining standing water. Several medications are available to prevent malaria in travelers to areas where the disease is common. Dispite a need, no effective vaccine exists, although efforts to develop one are ongoing.
- Mosquito net. Image. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 18 Mar. 2016. <http://media1.school.eb.com/eb-media/84/131784-050-CFF90182.jpg>.
Where is malaria found most?
The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator. This includes much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In 2015, there were 214 million cases of malaria worldwide. This resulted in an estimated 438,000 deaths, 90% of which occurred in Africa.
- Malaria and sickle cell anemia, distribution of. Image. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <http://media1.school.eb.com/eb-media/84/126284-050-F08FB570.gif>.
How do you get malaria?
Someone gets malaria when an infected female Anopheles mosquito bites them.The bite introduces the parasites from the mosquito's saliva into a person's blood. The parasites travel to the liver where they mature and reproduce. Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be spread by humans. Most deaths are caused by P. falciparum because P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae generally cause a milder form of malaria. The species P. knowlesi rarely causes disease in humans.
- Parasitism: malaria parasite inside a red blood cell. Image. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <http://media1.school.eb.com/eb-media/87/38187-004-A26FBE54.jpg>.