Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites. A parasite is an organism that lives off of another organism known as a host; a parasite takes from the host organism, but does not help it. Instead, it usually harms the host. People suffer from malaria when the parasite enters their blood stream.
The parasite that causes malaria is a protozoan called plasmodium. Protozoa are organisms with only one cell, but they are not bacteria. Bacteria are smaller and simpler than protozoa.
The best way to treat malaria is to not get infected with it or overcome it. There are three ways to prevent malaria; control mosquitoes, keep mosquitoes from biting and take medicine to keep from getting sick after a bite, especially in those parts of the world where people get malaria.
Vector control is one way to stop malaria. Vector means an organism that carries an infectious disease to another organism. For malaria, the vector is the anopheles mosquito. It carries plasmodium to people.
There are many ways to conduct a good vector control. The best ways are different in different places. This depends on the environment and also depends on how much malaria is in the place.
This is why measures to fight the exisistence of these mosquitoes differ from country to country.
In the past, the most used method of vector control is pesticides. These are chemicals that kill the mosquito. The first pesticide used for vector control was DDT.
This chemical worked very well for vector control. It killed mosquitoes. It did not make people very sick at the time it was used. It did not cost very much money.
However, today many insecticides are being sold out by pharmaceutical farms to work as best vector control chemicals.
Wear long pants and shirts with long sleeves. Wear mosquito repellent, a chemical that mosquitoes do not like, so they do not bite. Mosquitoes will bite through thin cloth. So repellent should be used on skin and clothes.
When sleeping, people use a mosquito net. This is made from cloth that air can go through but keeps mosquitoes out.
It is put over a bed where people sleep to keep mosquitoes out. Sometimes people also use it when they are not sleeping. It is best to use mosquito nets that have been treated with Permethrin, which repels and kills mosquitoes.
People can take medicine when they are in a place where there is malaria. This medicine makes them get less chances of suffering from malaria attack.
This is called prophylaxis some people take prophylactic medicines for years. Many people in areas where there is malaria do not have the money to buy this medicine and will resort to other means of preventing it.
People who live in places where there is no malaria usually have had no malaria. So people from places where there is no malaria may take prophylactic medicines when they go to places where there is malaria.
The kind of prophylactic medicines people take depends on where they are. This is because not all medicines work on the same kind of malaria. Some plasmodium is resistant even if the right medicine is used, it does not always work. Sometimes people get malaria even if they take prophylaxis.
Sometimes this is because people do not take the medicine the right way. But even if it is taken rightly, germ can develop resistance to it.
To make them work best, prophylactic medicines have to be taken the right way. The medicine is always taken before going to an area with malaria.
Most medicines should be taken for 4 weeks at least before traveling to malaria prone areas.