The world has been battling the deadly Covid-19 virus for a long while. But one of the most dangerous viruses spread via the mosquito is Malaria. Let us know more about this deadly disease that had taken the lives of million this World Malaria Day.
World Malaria Day came into being in May 2007. This year’s theme for the same is "Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives.”. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. Yet 627,000 people died in 2020 alone due to this disease.
A total of 241 million cases of malaria were seen in 2020, of which 95% of cases were registered in Africa alone. Worse is that 80% of all malaria deaths were of children below the age of 5. Our neighbours Sri Lanka and the Maldives have gained Malaria free certification from WHO. None of the Indian states has been able to completely eradicate malaria. India accounts for 82% of all malaria caused deaths in the South-East Asian region. Fortunately, India has created a framework to achieve zero malaria cases by 2027 and eliminate the disease by 2030.
Causes and Symptoms of Malaria
This disease is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. The female mosquitos also known as the malaria vectors inject this into the blood vessels of human beings. The symptoms of the disease appear after 10 to 15 days. The symptoms include fever, chills, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, muscle pain, joint pain and a general feeling of discomfort.
How to prevent Malaria?
The WHO recommends everyone to get the RTS,S/AS01 (Mosquirix) malaria vaccine, especially for children. Along with this take precautions of wearing full-sleeved shirts and pants while going out. Use insect repellent on any exposed skin. Make sure the insect repellent is certified by the Environment Protection Agency.
Malaria vs Dengue vs Chikungunya
All 3 diseases are spread via mosquito bites. Malaria is spread from the Anopheles mosquito whereas Dengue and Chikungunya are spread via the Aedes mosquito. The latter 2 are insect-borne diseases whereas malaria is a parasite-caused disease.