Malaria: what you need to know about this disease to avoid and cure it

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Malaria: what you need to know about this disease to avoid and cure it

Malaria, a very deadly disease

435.000. This is the number of malaria victims in 2017. On the occasion of World Malaria Day On April 25, it is important to point out that this parasitic disease is widespread and threatens almost half of the world's population. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 219 million the number of cases of malaria in 87 different countries in 2017.

What is this parasitic disease?

Malaria, also known as malaria, is a life-threatening infectious disease caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, transmitted by mosquitoes female anopheles infected. These mosquito vectors of malaria are found mainly in tropical areas. They sting most of the time at night, mostly during or after the rainy season.

There are 5 types of parasites that cause malaria in humans. Two of them are the most dangerous: Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax. The first city is the most widespread.

The symptoms of malaria

Generally, the symptoms of malaria appear after 10 to 15 days after the sting infected mosquito. They can be moderate to intense, and are sometimes difficult to attribute to malaria. Here are the first symptoms:

If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can develop to a severe illnessNeuropathy, often known as neuropaludism, is often fatal: infected red blood cells can clog the blood vessels supplying the brain.

The site of the Ameli Health Insurance adds that for some forms (P.vivac and P.ovale), symptoms can reappear weeks to months after the first infectionbecause the parasite has remained in the liver.

Malaria treatments

Fast treatment allows the cure of the disease and avoids complications potentially life threatening. WHO recommends a diagnosis based on the search for parasites in the blood, under a microscope or by means of a test.

"The best treatment available, especially for falciparum malaria, is an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT)", informs the WHO website. It is a substance extracted from the Chinese sagebrush plant, considered very effective. Several others antimalarials can be prescribed according to the type of parasite involved to quickly and completely eliminate the plasmodia in the blood.

Preventive attitudes and regions at risk

Nearly half of the world's population was exposed to malaria in 2017. Most cases and deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa it is the continent most affected with 90% of malaria cases identified. Countries of theSouth East Asia, of the Eastern Mediterranean, of Western Pacific and fromLatin America are also at risk, says WHO.

In 2017, close to half of the cases in the world have been recorded in five countries : Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, India and Uganda.

To prevent malaria in high-risk areas, the World Health Organization and Health Insurance expose their recommendations :

  • Use an antimalarial drug for prevention while traveling in an endemic area (prescribed by a doctor)
  • Give priority to loose and covering clothing
  • Limit outdoor activities at times when mosquitoes are most active (evening and night)
  • Use skin repellents on bare body parts
  • Impregnate tent fabrics, cloths and clothing with insecticide
  • Equip cots and cribs with insecticide-treated mosquito nets

"No preventive means alone provides total protection, even if appropriate treatment has been taken, it is possible to make a malaria attack, warns the Institut Pasteur. Also, in case of even slight fever, nausea, headache, body aches or fatigue during the stay or in the months following the return, a doctor must be consulted urgently. Any fever at the return of the tropics must be considered a priori as malaria until proven otherwise.


The World Health Organization

The Pasteur Institute

Read also :

⋙ Anti-mosquito: 4 things that do not work

⋙ Malaria: hope for a vaccine

⋙ "Miracle" plant to treat malaria: effective or not? The Academy of Medicine has sliced

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