Malaria is caused by plasmodia parasites that are transmitted to the bloodstream by bites from the female anopheles mosquito. Malaria symptoms include fever, tiredness, chills and jaundice. Other complications like renal failure, seizures or even death are the extremes of malaria. Malaria is a tropical disease and can really turn out bad for visitors, taking this into consideration; here are some ways of how you can avoid malaria.
Prior Departure Assessment
Plan your travel in advance and integrate an individual risk assessment, this can be reading medical oriented travel journals and reading user reviews and opinions in travel websites. You can avoid travelling in areas with higher risks of malaria transmission.
In terms of accommodation, book your accommodation in places with little or no mosquitoes, preferably places of high altitudes. You can also look for screened quarters or those that have air conditioners. Avoid mosquito infested regions as best as you can.
Number at Birth
Studies show that first and second generations are at highest risks of contracting the disease than any other generation. It’s thus advisable to avoid malaria prone regions like India and West Africa or better still, take malaria preventive medicines before travelling to these places (image by katbaro).
Duration of Visit
The duration of your visit has a lot to do with chances of getting malaria, the shorter the duration of your visit the lower the chances of contracting malaria and vice versa. Young children and expectant mothers should try as best as they can to avoid visiting malaria prone areas.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Only one bite from an infected female anopheles mosquito is enough to transmit malaria. Bearing this in mind, avoid exposing yourself to disease borne insects, you can make sure you wear long sleeve shirts and pants to reduce the probability of mosquito bites.
Sleep in Nets
During you stay especially in mosquito infested areas, always ensure you sleep in bed nets and if possible mosquito treated nets. Make sure you tuck the nets well before you sleep as mosquitoes can easily find their way in tiniest slots. You can also buy flying insects sprays and ensure you spray the room before you sleep (Image by Wonderlane).
A great way to avoid mosquito bites is by applying insect repellant ointments on your skin. Some repellants are quite good and last up to twelve hours. Use the repellant sparingly in that you only use it when your skin is exposed. Also avoid some colognes and perfumes as they may attract insects without your knowledge.
Choice of Campsites
As much as you may be doing your best to avoid malaria, you may actually fail when it comes to campsites. While choosing campsites, avoid places that are near stagnant waters or dense bush and thickets. Where possible, camp at higher grounds. You can also drain away pans and pots of water before setting up the camp as mosquitoes live and breed in such places.
It’s important to note that mosquitoes that transmit malaria attack at night so be on the safe side, you can consider carrying out your activities between dawn and dusk.
Featured image courtesy : Jason Reid