Malaria and Mosquitos

Many people in the US do not ever think about Malaria - that is a disease that has been safely removed from the US many years ago. However, it is wise to understand and take precautions against mosquito bites, especially if you are travelling in non-US areas.

It was not that long ago that Malaria was responsible for thousands of deaths in the US - and in many parts of the world, malaria is still a constant threat. The main carrier of malaria is mosquitoes. They suck up the blood of an infected person, and the malaria parasites work their way into the mosquito's saliva. When the mosquito approaches its next victim, the saliva then infects the new person.

Malaria begins by giving its victim classic "illness" symptoms - fever, chills, tiredness, soreness, vomiting. However, malaria can quickly escalate and lead to coma, anemia and even death. Young children are usually the worst affected.

Malaria still infects about 100 million people each year, and kills over a million of those. Usually the problem is that those living in mosquito-infected swampy areas are the ones least able to afford medical help or even basic protection such as a mosquito net. Studies have shown that the most simple measures of sleeping in a mosquito net can cut malaria risk by half, but the people in these areas cannot afford that basic necessity. Over 90% of those who die from malaria are on the African continent,

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