Malaria is a disease caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which is likely to be transmitted to humans by western gorillas. This is the first in importance among the debilitating disease, with more than 210 million cases each year worldwide. The word malaria comes from Italian medieval bad aria (bad air), in Spanish is also known as malaria, Latin palus, “swamp.”
On African Malaria is celebrated on April 25 as it is in this continent where the disease is most common. The disease can be caused by one or more of the different species of Plasmodium: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium knowlesi, the first three are reported in the Americas. The vectors of this disease are different species of the genus Anopheles. As is known, only the female mosquitoes that feed blood to mature the eggs, and therefore the males do not bite and cannot transmit disease because they feed only nectars and vegetable juices.
The only way for direct infection among humans is that a pregnant woman transmit it via transplacental to the fetus. Also it can be transmitted directly through the bite of a mosquito. It is also possible transmission by blood transfusions from donors who have had the disease. In regions where malaria is highly endemic, people are so often infected develop the “acquired immunity”, ie they are more or less asymptomatic carriers of the parasite. One of the easiest way to prevent Malaria is to avoid mosquito bites. There are various top mosquito repellents in United States that contains DEET and are very effective in preventing mosquito bites. 1.3 million people die of malaria each year and of these, 90% are children under five years. Each year there are 396 million cases of malaria. Most of the burden of disease is recorded in Africa south of Sahara. The first vaccine was developed by Dr. Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, a doctor in Colombia, and has an effectiveness of between 40% and 60% in adults and children 77%.
Symptoms Of Malaria
This is one of the most common infectious diseases and major health problems for the traveler. There are four species of the genus Plasmodium (the malaria parasite) that transmit the disease to humans: Plasmodium vivax, P. Ovale, P. P. malariae Falciporum (the deadliest). The main cause of malaria is the improper performance of chemoprophylaxis. The risk of infection varies depending on the itinerary, trip duration, time of year (rainy season, temperature), population immunity, distribution of places where mosquitoes breed and the prevalence of different species. In the male transmission occurs through the bite of female Anopheles mosquito. It is especially active from dusk to dawn. It is also transmitted through blood transfusions or infected needles. Another cause is unlikely, is at the airport or surrounding area. If a mosquito “school” on a plane from an endemic area and escapes on a scale in other countries could sting. Symptoms of malaria The incubation period depends on the species causing the infection. If they are the P. Vivax or ovale, they usually last between 10 and 16 days if the P. Malariae, 20 to 40 days, and if the falciparum, between 8 and 14. The first malaria symptoms are indistinguishable from a mild viral illness, mild and intermittent fever, headache and muscle pain, chills with a sick feeling. In general include:
- tiredness (fatigue)
- Abdominal discomfort
- Muscle aches (myalgia)
- Fever and chills
If the disease progresses it can have several pictures depending on the infecting organism. Among the less severe symptoms are gastrointestinal disturbances, ie, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and disorders such as jaundice or biliary coletiasisis. It also highlights the hepatosplenomegaly or simultaneous increase in the size of the liver and spleen, which is constant for all forms of malaria, and their frequent association with the cold sores.
What Causes Malaria
Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted from human to human by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. In humans, the parasites (called sporozoites) migrate to the liver where they mature and become merozoites, which enter the bloodstream and infect red blood cells. The parasites multiply inside the cells that, after 48 to 72 hours, break and infect red blood cells. The first symptoms usually occur 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although they may appear as early as 8 days or up to 1 year after surgery. Then the symptoms of the disease occur in cycles of 48 to 72 hours. Symptoms of malaria Most symptoms are caused by the massive release of merozoites into the bloodstream, the anemia resulting from destruction of red blood cells and the problems caused by large amounts of free hemoglobin released into circulation after the breakdown of red blood cells. Malaria can also be transmitted from mother to unborn baby (congenital) and blood transfusions. Mosquitoes in temperate climates can carry malaria, but the parasite disappears over the winter. The disease is a major health problem in much of tropical and subtropical countries. The CDC (Center for Disease Control, U.S.) estimates that each year there are 300 to 500 million cases of malaria and more than a million people die. It is the major disease hazard for travelers to warm climates. In some regions of the world, mosquitoes that carry malaria have developed resistance to insecticides. In addition, the parasites have developed resistance to some antibiotics. This has led to difficulty in controlling both the rate of infection and spread of the disease. Plasmodium falciparum malaria, one of four different types of malaria, affects a greater proportion of red blood cells compared to other types and is much more serious. It can be fatal within a few hours of the onset of symptoms.
Before traveling to an area affected by malaria are likely to be information about it and how to protect, as the recommendations of a country may differ greatly from the neighbor. WHO recommends no travel to endemic areas or at risk to pregnant women or families with children because of the risk of maternal mortality, abortion, infant mortality and low birth weight.
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