Malaria is one of the widest spread diseases worldwide. Malaria is transmitted through female mosquitos. These mosquitos primarily prey at night. They begin to feed around dusk and will continue to feed throughout the night until dawn breaks. There is no current vaccine for malaria and it can develop into a fatal disease if not treated quickly enough.
Ultimately, malaria attacks the liver. The female mosquito bites a person and this parasite travels to the liver. Here it attacks liver cells and the disease is released into the bloodstream where it attacks red blood cells. The body is unable to ward off the disease on its own, which is when drugs are taken to treat the disease.
The sooner malaria is diagnosed and treated, the better. This is not always easy since people in the regions of the world most affected by the disease do not always have adequate medical care. In many cases, malaria that is identified and treated in the first few weeks of the disease can be treated successfully. The type of treatment given to patients depends on the person’s age and pregnancy.
Malaria most severely affects young children and the elderly. Both parties tend to have bad reactions to treatment. Even when treatment is seemingly successful for these two groups, malaria can return because the parasite was never fully killed off in the system. It may lie dormant for several weeks. If malaria is going to return, it usually happens within 8-24 weeks of a person coming off what was thought to be successful treatment for the disease.
For those traveling to these regions, it is extremely important to take all precautions recommended by your doctor prior to arriving in these countries. Spray clothing and skin with the appropriate over the counter preventatives to keep yourself safe.