By Kari, Jackie, and Amanda
- Malaria is caused by a parasite that infects mosquitos that then feed on humans.
Four types of parasites:
- Plasmodium falciparum: This results in severe infections
- P. vivax
- P. ovale
- P. malariae
- Malaria mainly occurs normally in tropical and subtropical areas. Mostly places such as in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Brazil.
- The malaria parasites infects humans and female Anopheles mosquitoes. In humans, the parasites grow and multiply first in the liver cells and then in the red cells of the blood. In the blood, successive broods of parasites grow inside the red cells and destroy them, releasing daughter parasites ("merozoites") that continue the cycle by invading other red cells.
- When certain forms of blood stage parasites ("gametocytes") are picked up by a female Anopheles mosquito during a blood meal, they start another, different cycle of growth and multiplication in the mosquito. After 10-18 days, the parasites are found (as "sporozoites") in the mosquito's salivary glands. When the Anopheles mosquito takes a blood meal on another human, the sporozoites are injected with the mosquito's saliva and start another human infection when they parasitize the liver cells.
- People of all ages and anyone who comes in contact with the disease carrying mosquitoes
- There is an ABCD Prevention plan for Malaria.
- A: Awareness of the disease - through newspapers, radio, and television
- B: Bite prevention - Drape mosquito nets sprayed with insectides over beds and windows in places such as Africa, insect repellant clothing, and if you can try to wear clothing that covers up your arms and legs
- C: Chemoprophylaxis (antimalarial medication)
- D: Diagnosis and Treatment as fast as possible
- Artesunate-not used in the USA as an option for treatment
Cost of Treatment
- Average cost of any malaria vaccine are anywhere from $31 to $190
- High temperature (fever).
- Joint pains.
- Being sick (vomiting).
- Sometimes, being unable to think/speak clearly because of fever or mental confusion (delirium).
- Nets do not provide 100% protection and must be re-treated periodically
- Those infected have to take the correct dosage of medication while still avoiding mosquito bites
- Mosquitoes might start developing a resistance to the medication
- Drugs may cause side effects including: nausea, blurred vision, and mouth ulcers
- New medications are more expensive
- Social: In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627,000 deaths. An estimated 91% of deaths in 2010 were in the African Region.
- Environmental: Malaria occurs greatly in places that are closer to the equator. This is why there is an abundance of infected mosquitoes in places like Africa, Brazil, etc.
- Economic: Costs to individuals and their families include purchase of drugs for treating malaria at home; expenses for travel to, and treatment at, dispensaries and clinics; lost days of work; absence from school; expenses for preventive measures; expenses for burial in case of deaths. Direct costs (for example, illness, treatment, premature death) have been estimated to be at least US$ 12 billion per year. The cost in lost economic growth is many times more than that.