Malaria

Is a preventive and curable infection caused by parasitic protozoans belonging to the plasmodium parasite which is transmitted to people through bites of infected female anopheles mosquito.

Mode of transmission

Anopheles mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, which hatch into larvae which later grows into adult mosquitoes, The female mosquitoes seek a blood meal to nurture their eggs thus introducing the parasites into human blood (host) through bites. The parasites travel to the liver where they mature and produce affecting the cells in the liver. Malaria incubates and later presents itself with initial flu-like symptoms that include:- fever, headache and vomiting it is always fever like illness.

Malaria can progress to severe illness which could lead to death or serious brain damage especially in children and pregnant women.

Environmental and host factors that favor transmission.

climatic conditions.

Temperature There being different types of plasmodium species , the development cycle of malaria also varies differently in differently in different temperature degree.

Development of the mosquito larva depend on temperature,High temperatures increases the no. of blood meals taken and the number of eggs laid by the mosquitoes, increasing the number of mosquitoes in a given area.

Minimum temperature for mosquito development is between 8-10 degree Celsius , optimum temp is 25-40 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature is 40 degree Celsius.

Attitude:– Influences the distribution and transmission of malaria indirectly, through its effect on temperature where the higher you go the lower the temperature and the lower you go the higher the temperature.

rainfall

Mosquitoes breed in water therefore right amount increases their breeding , however too much rainfall can flush away breeding habitats temporary, that’s why mosquitoes start breeding as soon as the rain stops.

Malaria vectors mainly breed in stagnant water collections, rarely in slightly moving water and not in rapidly flowing rivers and streams.

Relative humidity

This refers to the percentage of moisture in the air. Relative humidity affects malaria transmission through its effect on the activity and survival of mosquitoes.

Non-climatic factors

Malaria vectors

Female anopheles mosquito is the only one responsible for malaria transmission and different plasmodium species vary in terms of their favorable conditions for development.

Water development projects.

This include:- dams, ponds and irrigation challenges  which can increase malaria in areas near such projects.

Travelling and migration.

If one is moving from a place that is vulnerable to malaria he/she might have malaria parasites which can be transmitted to their place of destiny. It is always advisable that if one is travelling to  a place where malaria cases are intense, one should take antimalarial early in advance to increase resistance against malria.

Urbanization

Rural areas are said to have more malaria cases compared to urban places. This is due to bigger space in rural areas than in towns where there is high population. However construction projects in urban areas can also increase the breeding areas for mosquitoes.

Host immunity.

People with high immunity are less likely to get malaria infection while people with low immunity are highly likely to get malaria infection.

People are asked to manage their environment by clearing bushy areas and draining stagnant water, insect repellents and insecticides spray are also encouraged not forgetting sleeping under treated mosquito net as prevention measures for malaria.

Interventions for malaria.

 

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