Infectious

Malaria is a disease not only of tourists: what’s important to know everyone

The modern industry of tourism allows a person to visit many countries. But, at the same time, we should not forget about the risk of diseases that are typical only for certain regions of the world. Of course, tourists before traveling to exotic countries are recommended to make appropriate vaccinations against several diseases, including malaria. But the cases of incidence of malaria in Ukraine last year was recorded among foreigners who brought the disease into the country. Can malaria be transmitted from person to person, how to avoid infection – these issues today, on world day against malaria is particularly relevant. Let’s find out the answers.

Why on malaria talking at all

Day against malaria April 25 of each year, was established in 2007 by the world health organization (WHO) to draw global attention to the fight against malaria. According to WHO, every year malaria sick more than 200 million people and more than 600 thousand infected people die. More than half of the malaria cases recorded in Africa, Asia, but also infected the people of the Middle East and Latin America.

And here Ukraine, some would think. Despite the fact that in some regions of Europe have also been outbreaks of malaria. And last year in Ukraine, malaria was diagnosed in 29 cases (three of them died), in 2016 – 43. All cases of morbidity – “imported”: that is sick people who have been in dangerous regions and came to Ukraine already infected. Therefore, it is important to know how the disease is transmitted, what its symptoms to avoid infection and time to seek medical help or to call an ambulance for a person with appropriate symptoms and save his life.

How is malaria: who’s at risk

Malaria is a infectious disease: microparasite Plasmodium, which causes malaria, enters the bloodstream of humans by the bite of a mosquito of the genus Anopheles, which is found in tropical countries. Therefore, the malaria risk tourists, people opredelennyh professions (doctors, military, etc.), going to work in these regions, people living near airports (initsiirovanie insects sometimes get into the aircraft), as well as locals who can “lead” malaria, being infected.

However, from person to person by contact, shaking hands, kissing, sex, malaria is not made. When infected with malaria, pregnant women or the conception of a child of the woman in the incubation period (that is, a woman already infected, but the symptoms are not clear and she does not know about the disease) malaria can be transmitted from mother to fetus. Here, it is crucial to diagnose, to treat both the mother and the unborn baby. The risk of malaria exists in the use of untested blood (transfusions in extreme situations), the use of raw instruments (surgical), the injection needle of the syringe with a sterile needle after a person infected with malaria.

What to do if the symptoms of malaria and how to avoid infection

From the moment the bite of an infected mosquito before the symptoms first signs of the disease (the incubation period) can take between 8 to 25 days. And since the infection of three-day malaria (Plasmodium vivax) before the first symptoms appear, generally, it may take 8 to 12 months. The first symptoms of malaria are similar to the manifestation of SARS – headache, pain in joints, fever, so you don’t pay attention and begin treatment of the common cold. Only when the disease progresses, there is severe fever with temperatures up to 40 degrees, which drops to 36 loan and then increases again, severe headache, vomiting, chills, enlarged spleen.

Therefore, epidemiologists insist on compulsory vaccination against malaria and other tropical diseases before departure to the countries affected by malaria. If you have to stay in a country long term, it is important to have malaria drugs. After returning from vacation in tropical countries watch their health even if a year later after a visit developed symptoms of SARS, it is important to immediately contact the medical facility to inform about the history of their travels and pass the appropriate tests. Malaria is especially dangerous for children under 5 years. Treatment it is important to start within days after the first symptoms, otherwise the infected person risks to die.

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