The World Health Organization has recorded hundreds of millions of cases of malaria each year. In fact, 2017 saw 219 million cases of malaria on its own.
Even though we don’t talk about the condition much, malaria is still a cause for worry worldwide. So, you need to understand how to protect yourself from the condition. And, if you do contract it, you need to understand how the disease works and how you can get the treatment you need.
This all comes down to quality bloodborne pathogens training.
To learn more about malaria and how you can protect yourself from it, keep reading. We have the latest information that you need to know.
What Is Malaria?
Malaria is a serious condition. If left untreated, malaria could cause serious problems in humans.
These problems include seizures, damage to the nervous system, organ failure, shortness of breath, and more. Patients may find themselves lethargic and ill.
Malaria could even lead to death.
While it’s rare in the United States, it’s not unheard of. And, it’s very common worldwide.
If you’re traveling outside of the United States, we highly recommend talking to your primary physician about protecting yourself from the condition. Check out the list of countries with a high risk for malaria.
How Is Malaria Spread?
Malaria spreads through mosquitos. When an infected mosquito bites a human, it can spread the condition via small parasites. When the mosquito bites a human, the parasites can infect the human bloodstream, giving the human malaria.
Mosquitos get the infection by biting humans who are already infected with malaria. So, mosquitos work as transferees for the condition from human to human.
The condition is more common in areas that are hot and humid. So, experts find more cases in places like Africa, Central, and South America, Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the like.
While anyone can get malaria, death is most common in young children. These children do not have the immune systems necessary to fight off the condition.
The key to fighting against malaria is getting quality healthcare as soon as possible. So, those who don’t have access to good healthcare are more likely to have complications as a result of the condition.
Is Malaria a Bloodborne Pathogen?
A bloodborne pathogen is a microorganism that can cause diseases. These microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more.
Because it’s initiated via parasites in the bloodstream, malaria is a bloodborne pathogen. When an infected mosquito bites someone, they’re making contact with that person’s bloodstream. So, the mosquito acts as a vessel of transfer for the malaria-carrying parasite.
All in all, malaria spreads via blood. But, the mode of transfer makes humans more susceptible to the infection without them being aware of it.
What Are the Symptoms of Malaria?
Once a human contracts malaria, they have ten days to one month until symptoms will start appearing. These symptoms may begin mildly, but they can progress as the disease worsens.
There have been cases of malaria in which people don’t feel ill for years after getting the infection. Parasites can live in your body without you noticing for several years.
But, it’s more common to notice a couple of symptoms like these common malaria symptoms:
- Muscle aches
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
Over time, symptoms can become more extreme. This is when the body begins breaking down, creating other diseases within the body.
Someone with malaria could develop nervous system problems, anemia, jaundice, and more.
How Is Malaria Diagnosed?
If you think that you may have malaria, you should see a physician. If you visited, lived in, or used to live in an area with a high malaria risk, you should see a physician.
Whether or not you’re feeling symptoms, you should get examined to make sure that you don’t have silent parasites.
When you see a medical provider, they’re going to start by collecting information. They’re going to ask you about your travel history, symptoms, and more. The more information you share, the better.
Your physician needs to know everything that’s going on so that they can take care of you the right way. So, you should be honest and give your physician all of the information that he/she is asking for.
These kinds of questions can help your physician understand the amount of risk that you have for this condition and others that may cause similar symptoms.
From there, your physician will take a sample of your blood. This sample will go to the lab where professionals can test it for malaria-carrying parasites.
After they complete the test, you’ll be able to see whether or not you have malaria. Further, if the test is positive for malaria, you’ll be able to know what kind of parasite that’s causing the disease.
Keep in mind that your healthcare provider is not there to judge you. This is against their code of ethics. They’re here to help.
How Do We Treat Malaria?
Patients with malaria need treatment as soon as possible. This is why it’s important to make sure that you see your physician as soon as possible.
The most common treatment for malaria is prescription medications. The kind of medication that your provider prescribes will depend on the kind of parasite that is causing your malaria.
Unfortunately, some parasites are resistant to malaria drugs. So, physicians have to know how to fight off several different kinds of parasites.
Some of the most common antimalarial drugs are these:
- Doxycyclines like Doxy-100, Monodox, and Oracea
- Artemisinin drugs like artemether and artesunate
- Atovaquone like Mepron
Your physician will understand how to make the right selection for the kind of medication that you need to be on. To help them make the best choice, you need to give them as much information as possible.
How Can I Prevent Malaria?
Today, humans can prevent malaria infections by taking medication proactively. If you let your physician know about your travel ahead of time, you can get a prescription for an antimalarial before you even leave.
You should be taking this medication before, during, and after your stay to ensure that you don’t contract the disease.
On top of this, you can take a few precautions. You can lower your chances of getting malaria by avoiding mosquito bites. Here are some common strategies for doing this:
- Wear long pants and long sleeves that cover your skin from potential mosquito bites
- Apply mosquito repellent that has DEET (diethyltoluamide) to your body
- Treat all fabrics (clothing, nets, tents, etc.) with permethrin
- Put screens over your windows and doors
- Put mosquito netting over your bed
Taking these precautions can help you lower your risk for malaria. And, even if you’re on medication, these strategies are great for avoiding those small red bumps that come after a mosquito bite.
What Is the Outlook for Malaria?
Despite the decreasing prevalence of malaria worldwide, it’s still one of the most common diseases. As a result, the World Health Organization considers the condition one of the most important ones to fight against.
With the high mortality rates in young populations, more and more experts are working to improve malaria prevention tactics in high-risk countries.
If patients with malaria don’t receive treatment quickly, they could begin facing long-term health problems. Eventually, this could lead to death.
Again, we highly recommend that you see a physician if you’ve been to a high-risk area and/or if you’re experiencing symptoms. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
It’s better to get the treatment as soon as possible. If you can treat the condition sooner, you can avoid developing complications that come with long-term exposure to malaria-carrying parasites.
Patients who do receive the right kind of medication at the right dosage can clear the infection from their bodies. This means that they can cure their malaria if they get treatment early enough.
However, curing one bout of malaria does not protect you from any future mosquito bites. You can get malaria again if an infected mosquito bites you.
Bloodborne Pathogens Training
Malaria is one of many bloodborne pathogens that health organizations like the World Health Organization are working to battle. Even though the prevalence of malaria is lowering, the mortality rate of the condition is still concerning.
So, we all need to learn about how to prevent malaria ahead of time. Because of modern medications that can fight against the condition, people with access to quality healthcare should have no problem fighting against the disease.
However, this leaves people without access to healthcare to fend for themselves.
The seriousness of malaria makes bloodborne pathogens training more and more important. Just like we need to work to prevent conditions like HIV and Hepatitis, we need to work to prevent malaria.
The best way to do this is by learning about the disease and its methods of transfer.
To learn more about bloodborne pathogens, check out the bloodborne pathogens training course today. The more you educate yourself, the better you’ll be able to prevent these kinds of illnesses throughout your lifetime.
Article Submitted By Community Writer