Globally, 3.3 billion people in over 106 countries are at risk of malaria. So, every year, April 25 is observed as World Malaria Day. It's a disease caused by a parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Malaria kills around 660,000 people each year.
World health officials are trying to reduce malaria by distributing bed nets to help protect people from mosquito bites when they're sleeping. Scientists all around the world are also working to develop a vaccine to prevent malaria.
The signs and symptoms of malaria infection include moderate to severe shaking chills, high fever, sweating, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea. The signs typically begin within a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
The risk factor is more if the person lives in tropical areas or visit places where the disease is common. The risk is also high for young children, pregnant woman, and their unborn children. There are different subtypes of malaria parasites and the variety that causes the most lethal complications are commonly found in African countries which are south of the Sahara Desert, Asian subcontinent, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Haiti.
Poverty, lack of knowledge, little or no access to health care can also contribute to malaria deaths worldwide.
Before visiting any place where malaria is common, one should talk to the doctor a few months ahead, so that, you can take the necessary drugs before, during and after the trip.
There are no vaccines yet, so the best way for people staying in areas where malaria is common is to try and reduce the exposure to mosquitoes by spraying insecticide in and around the house that can help kill adult mosquitoes that come inside. One should sleep under mosquito net; cover the skin, spraying clothing and skin and take other preventive measures available to keep mosquitoes away.
The types of drugs and the length of treatment vary on the type of malaria you have, the severity of the symptoms, age, medications or if she is pregnant. However, according to Mayo Clinic, the most common anti-malarial drugs include Chloroquine (Aralen), Quinine sulfate (Qualaquin), Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), Mefloquine and combination of atovaquone and proguanil (Malarone).