Dr. Altaf Patel provides valuable insights on Malaria

An overview of Malaria, its signs and symptoms, types, diagnosis, treatment options, and precautionary measures to keep it at bay in words of Dr. Altaf Patel, Director of Medicine, Jaslok Hospital.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. This disease is quite common in Asia. Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. Medicircle is conducting an exclusive series on Malaria on the occasion of World Malaria Day which falls in April to recognize the efforts to control this disease.

Dr. Altaf Patel is the Director of Medicine at Jaslok Hospital Mumbai. He has been engaged in teaching medical students since the year 1977 at both the graduate and postgraduate levels. He has been the examiner for MBBS and MD for the Mumbai University several times. He has published papers in Indian and international journals and has spoken in multiple conferences abroad. He has also been a medical columnist at Mid-Day newspaper and Editorial Columnist at Mumbai Mirror.

Malaria - a bird’s eye-view

Dr. Patel mentions, “Malaria is an infectious disease. It comes from an organism called Plasmodium which is carried by the mosquito. This is an anopheles female mosquito. You get it with a bite, it can't be transferred. When you say infectious, it's not by touch or by air. It was originally thought that malaria came from bad air so the name “mal-aria” came in till we could find out that it was actually from the bite of the mosquito. In the early 70s, during my time training as a medical student, we never saw malaria because WHO declared Maharashtra malaria-free. Unfortunately,malaria-free with pools of water are associated with construction. Now in this situation, they usually ask to put oil and water so that the mosquito cannot survive, but most people don't do it. And that's how we had the resurgence of malaria, which caused us a fair number of deaths,” says Dr. Patel.

Symptoms, diagnosis, and types

Dr. Patel says, “Most common symptoms of malaria are fever with shivering and sweating and then the fever coming down. If you are experiencing it, it's better to start treatment for malaria. A positive blood test confirms malaria, but a negative blood test does not exclude malaria. There are various types of malaria. The common one that we see is the Vivax, and the more dangerous is the Falciparum, which affects the brain and is called cerebral malaria.”

Malaria – treatment options 

Dr. Patel informs, “The basic drugs to be used is a drug called chloroquine which is cheap and easily available. Some people prefer quinine for cerebral malaria. It’s a disastrous and dangerous drug to use. You also get the Chinese herbal medication, artemether. This has turned out to be good. In the times of the Vietnam War, the Americans figured out that this herb was effective to treat malaria. So when doctors tell you that herbal medicine is junk, actually much of medicine comes from herbs.”

Precautionary measures to keep it at bay

Dr. Patel mentions, “The strange thing about the female anopheles mosquito that transmits malaria is that it comes out at sunset and remains from sunset to sunrise. You need to wear light clothing because it's less attractive to that, cover your legs and hands as far as possible. Particularly careful should be pregnant women, because the amount of carbon dioxide you generate attracts the mosquito. So, if you are overweight or pregnant, the mosquito can be attracted to you. Dark clothing also attracts mosquitoes. It’s better to use anti-mosquito creams or roll-ons that you get in the market. They somewhat help to avoid the bite,” suggests Dr. Patel.

(Edited by Amrita Priya)


Contributed By: Dr. Altaf Patel, Director of Medicine, Jaslok Hospital

Tags : #World-Malaria-Day-Awareness-Series #draltafpatel #jaslokhospital #malaria #malariaprevention #smitakumar #medicircle

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...


Trending Now

Exploring the Link Between Covid-19 Vaccination and Sudden Cardiac Arrests: ICMR StudyNovember 22, 2023
Powering the Future: China's Biodegradable Wireless System for Bioelectronic InnovationNovember 22, 2023
IMS BHU Pioneers Advanced Cardiac Care: Unveiling Cutting-Edge Technologies for Precise DiagnosisNovember 18, 2023
Inito's $6 Million Boost: Transforming Women's Health with AI-Backed Fertility MonitoringNovember 18, 2023
Madras High Court Advocates for Equality: PG Medical Students to Receive Incentive Marks for COVID-19 DutyNovember 18, 2023
Next-Gen Healthcare: CarePods and AI Redefine the Patient ExperienceNovember 17, 2023
Air Quality Crisis: Alarming Rise in Premature Births Linked to Air Quality in Begusarai, BiharNovember 17, 2023
Limerick Contest-2023: A Celebration of Wit and PoetryNovember 17, 2023
IIIT-Hyderabad among top 100 institutions for 5G Use Case LabNovember 17, 2023
Powerful, motivating and inspiring talks marked TEDx Hyderabad Women 2023 which was held with the theme "Two Steps ForwardNovember 17, 2023
Speaking the Diagnosis: How AI in Voice Analysis Is Revolutionizing Diabetes DetectionNovember 17, 2023
FDA Approves Zepbound: A New Medication for Weight Loss by Eli LillyNovember 17, 2023
CoverSelf Raises $8.2 Million in Seed Funding to Revolutionize Healthcare Claims with Innovative Fintech PlatformNovember 16, 2023
From Miracle to Medic: The Extraordinary Journey of India's First Paediatric Liver Transplant RecipientNovember 16, 2023
Combatting Chikungunya: Valneva's Chikungunya Vaccine Cleared by USFDA, Eyes India LaunchNovember 16, 2023
Global Corporate Summit 2023 with the theme Unlocking Opportunities in a Dynamic World heldNovember 16, 2023
2nd IHub-Data Mobility Summit heldNovember 16, 2023
Revolutionary AI-powered technology detects multiple abdominal pathologies simultaneouslyNovember 16, 2023
1 Out of 3 Stroke Patients Suffer Long-Term Health Complications, Says NeurologistNovember 16, 2023
Amrita Hospital, Kochi, Launches App for People with Swallowing DifficultiesNovember 15, 2023