How to Reduce Your Risk of Malaria

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Malaria is a parasitic disease caused by infected mosquitos. It’s caused by the Plasmodium parasites and is transmitted from the bites of an infected Anopheles mosquito vectors. Of the five types of malaria parasites, the Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest of all.

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, there is an average of 198 million cases of malaria each year. An estimated 584, 000 deaths are linked to Malaria. The mortality rate of malaria is 47% worldwide and 54% in the African Region.

How to Prevent Malaria

Almost half of the human population is at a risk of contracting this deadly disease. To minimize your risk of catching malaria, keep these tips in mind:

Find Out About Your Malaria Risk

Malaria is common in tropical and sub-tropical environments. The wetter environment is conducive to the proliferation of Anopheles mosquitos. The possibility of an infection will vary from country to country so arm yourself with information when planning your trip. The last thing you want is to contract the disease while you are in a foreign country!

If you’re traveling, consider the time of the year you travel, the duration of your stay or the activities you plan to do.

Remove Stagnant Water

Anopheles mosquitos breed in stagnant water so to keep your home safe, remove standing water in and around the home. Stagnant water may accumulate in puddles and old tires. Just drain standing water to discourage mosquitos from breeding near your home. Start by checking the garden because this part of the home is prone to standing water. Remove stagnant water from all bird feeders, pond, etc., if you have these in the garden.

Use Mosquito Repellent in the Home

To keep the interiors of your home safe, make a habit out of using insect repellent every time you head out. So by the time you go back to your home, the fumes are gone and so are the mosquitos. You can also light a citronella candle to repel mosquitos. Occasionally, you can call a professional to fumigate the garden and the home.

Wear the Right Clothing

Instead of wearing skin-baring clothes especially during summer nights, consider wear trousers and long sleeved shirts. The less skin that’s exposed, the better. If you can, treat your clothes with permethrin. This chemical will help repel mosquitos!

Apply Anti-Mosquito Cream

If you must head outside and you’re wearing skin-baring clothes, slather anti-mosquito cream liberally all over your body. Focus on the legs and the arms then re-apply according to the instructions. If you’re heading out, bring a small bottle of anti-mosquito cream so you can simply re-apply anytime, anywhere!

Layering with Sunblock

If you are using a sunblock, do not apply it after the anti-mosquito repellent. You want to apply the sunscreen first, then the insect repellent after. Applying the sunblock after the anti-mosquito repellent will neutralize the effects of the latter. But if you can find a sunscreen formulated with an insect repellent then use that instead. This product goes light on the skin so it’s not as greasy as applying two separate products.

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