PEST – BORNE DISEASES: MALARIA
Malaria is a serious and even life-threatening disease caused by a bite from a female mosquito. The source is not actually the mosquito, but a parasite which the mosquito transfers to a human after a bite. To be specific, it is the Plasmodium parasites that cause it. In 2017, it was estimated that there were 219,000 cases of this disease in 90 countries, 450,000 of them resulted in deaths. Africa has the highest number of cases, accounting for 92% of the cases in 2017. Malaria cases in the United States are caused by traveling to countries where the parasites are endemic, then return back to the U.S. already with the infection after being bitten by a mosquito knowingly or unknowingly.
Malaria is not spread by human to human contact, but anyone can get it. Transmission is by mosquito bites from a female Anopheles mosquito. No other species of mosquito can transmit malaria. The transmission of this disease is just a vicious cycle: a mosquito gets a blood meal from an infected person, getting a small amount of blood which actually contain the malaria parasite, goes to the next host, bites the host and transfers the parasite in the process.
It is also possible to contract the disease through blood transfusion. This is due to the fact that malaria parasites are found in the red blood cells. Transmission can also happen through organ transplant and the sharing of needles or syringes with infected blood.
Congenital malaria happens when an infected mother gives birth to an infant, or even before birth and transmits the disease to the baby.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms usually appear about 10 to 15 days after infection. The initial symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, muscle aches, chills, and tiredness. However, these are common symptoms for any other diseases and identifying them as symptoms of malaria would be very difficult. But if not treated within 24 hours, malaria can progress to severe illness and even death.
Surviving malaria depends on early diagnosis and treatment. Artemisinin-based combination therapy is probably the best treatment available.
Once you suspect having malaria, see you health care provider immediately.
The best way to prevent the spread of malaria is to control the presence of mosquitoes. Here are some simple ways to get rid of mosquitoes:
- Use a mosquito swatter. You may purchase these from a local store near you. If you see a mosquito buzzing around, just swat away.
- Use insect repellents that are Environmental Protection Agency – approved. Look for an insect repellent with the DEET ingredient, since insect repellents with the said ingredient do not present a health risk.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants for added protection.
- Remove stagnant water in and around your homes. Adult female mosquitoes looking to breed in standing water, so removing this would make them go elsewhere.
The best way to get rid of mosquito presence can be done by experts. In North Carolina, there is a local exterminator that is known for effective methods and excellent customer service. Dial 336 – 841- 6111 and set an appointment with the experts from Go- Forth Pest Control Company, the best in pest control in these parts of the world.