Friday, 5 June 2015

Vital Malaria Tips

Malaria is a life-threatening disease. It is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream.

Once the parasites are inside your body, they travel to the liver, where they mature. After several days, the mature parasites enter the bloodstream and begin to infect red blood cells. Within 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply, causing the infected cells to burst open. The parasites continue to infect red blood cells, resulting in symptoms that occur in two-to-three-day cycles.

Malaria is an infection caused by single-celled parasites that enter the blood through the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. These parasites, called plasmodia, belong to at least five species. Most human infections are caused by either Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax.

Plasmodium parasites spend several parts of their life cycle inside humans and another part inside mosquitoes. During the human part of their life cycle, Plasmodium parasites infect and multiply inside liver cells and red blood cells.

Some infected blood cells burst because of the multiplying parasites inside. Many more infected red blood cells are broken down by your spleen or liver, which filter out and remove damaged or aging red blood cells from circulation. Both Plasmodium parasites in the bloodstream and irritants that are released from broken red blood cells cause malaria symptoms.

Most deaths from malaria are caused by P. falciparum, which causes severe disease. Before P. falciparum malaria causes a red blood cell to burst, it can make the surface of the cell stick to other cells like it. This causes the blood to clot within small blood vessels, which can severely damage organs.

Malaria FAQs

What are the symptoms of malaria?
Malaria symptoms typically appear 10 to 16 days after the infectious mosquito bite, when the infected red blood cells begin to burst. Victims experience flu-like symptoms, including chills, fever, sweating, nausea, headache and vomiting.

The most virulent form of the disease—the Plasmodium falciparum malaria (found predominately in Africa)—can be fatal within hours if not treated.

Who is most vulnerable to malaria?
Young children are most vulnerable because they have not built up any immunity to the disease, and without immunity, the infections tend to be more severe and life-threatening.

Pregnant women are at risk because their immune systems are compromised by pregnancy. People suffering from other diseases and conditions that affect the immune system, such as malnutrition, HIV/AIDS or anemia, also are vulnerable.

How does malaria affect children?
More than 40% of the world’s children live in places where malaria is a constant threat. Most children die from malaria because they do not get effective treatment.

The most severe form of malaria—cerebral malaria—will cause convulsions, coma and death in 93% of children affected. The 7% who survive are left with permanent neurological problems such as epilepsy, blindness, weakness, speech problems and significant cognitive issues.

The most common cause of death from malaria among young children is the severe anemia that results from repeated infections. Additionally, infants born to women who had malaria during their pregnancies tend to be of low birth weight or premature, both of which decrease their chances of survival during their first years.

How is malaria treated?
One of the most difficult aspects in treating malaria is the increase of drug-resistant parasites that have rendered traditional anti-malarial drugs, such as chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, ineffective. However, a very promising development in anti-malarial treatment is Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT).

Artemisinin is a compound derived from the sweet wormwood plant and has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fever. By combining artemisinin with two or more drugs that act differently and have different targets in the body, the potential for resistance is delayed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends ACT as the front-line treatment for malaria, and major pharmaceutical companies and governments are working together to increase production and reduce the costs of these drugs.

(Contact us for such ACT which is purely Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Can malaria be cured?
Malaria can be cured with prompt diagnosis and correct drug treatment. But there is a double burden of increased drug resistance and limited access to health care in many of the most malaria-prone areas.

Prevention is the key to saving lives.

Do people become immune to malaria?
Yes, people who have survived malaria infections typically develop partial protective immunity. This reduces the severity of future outbreaks of the disease, but it does not protect against future infections. This is the case with most adults living in high-transmission areas such as sub-Saharan Africa.

How can malaria be prevented?
The front line of defense in preventing malaria is the use of long-lasting insecticide-treated Nets, which simultaneously provide a protective covering for the body while releasing chemicals to repel and kill the infection-carrying mosquitoes.

Recent technology has dramatically improved nets by infusing the insecticide in the netting material, making the nets effective for up to five years. The traditional nets had to be treated every six months with insecticide, a practice that was hard to maintain and often neglected.

Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets mark a new era in fighting malaria.

How do insecticide-treated nets work?
The nets are hung over beds or mats. Most nets cover three children. The nets protect people from being bitten by mosquitoes at night. The insecticide will kill those mosquitoes that come in contact with it, as well as repel and reduce the number of mosquitoes that enter the house.

Research has shown that the actual mosquito population drops by as much as 90% when three-quarters of the community uses nets consistently.

The insecticide used in the nets distributed through NetsforLife® is deltamethrine. This insecticide is believed to be superior to the conventional permethrine used in re-treated nets.

Is spraying for vector (mosquito) control considered a safe practice?
Yes. In recent years, scientific evidence has validated the safety of Indoor Residual Spraying, the application of long-acting insecticides including DDT on the walls and roofs of houses, public buildings and domestic animal shelters to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes that land on these surfaces. However, there are places where such spraying is ineffective and should not be used.

Integrated prevention, including training, insecticide-treated nets, symptom recognition and environmental management, are extremely effective in combating malaria.

Source- Good Deeds Inc

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