Saturday, June 16, 2007

Malaria

I only used my mosquito net a few times and quit taking Nivaquine/Paludrine two weeks after reaching India. While I don't have any symptoms, I could still be infected as the disease can lie dormant for months/years.

Malaria is still a major health problem in India where 1,863,303 cases were reported in 2003. Risky areas are highlighted in red on the map below.


Malaria can only be inoculated by the bite of a female anopheles mosquito. The parasites enter the host's bloodstream when bitten by an infected mosquito. The parasites multiply inside the red cells until they burst releasing large numbers of free parasites into the blood plasma causing the characteristic fever associated with the disease.

Prevention (ABCD rule)

-Awareness of risk
-Bite avoidance (insecticide-treated mosquito nets, insecticide sprays and repellent creams containing diethyl toluamide)
-Chemoprophylaxis (preventive medicines)
-Diagnosis made promptly with early treatment of an infected case

Symptoms

-Atypical fever
-Headache, body ache, back ache, neck stiffness, joint pains
-Vertigo, hallucinosis, delirium, altered sensorium
-Cough, breathlessness, chest pain
-Weakness, convulsions, coma
-Vomiting, diarrhea
-Jaundice, puffiness of lids

2 comments:

Anne said...

j en avais entendu parler... reportage sur CNN. Mais ds mon souvenir, c'était au vietnam. Je viens de vérifier sr internet. Il semble que l'administration de lariam à des militaires américains ait eu lieu durant la guerre du vietnam ET celle d'Irak. Flippant...

PS j'étais aussi sous Paludrine/Nivaquine. Pas trop d'effets secondaires. Léger acné.

Veronica said...

This post was so much helpful that we were better prepared for our visit to India.
We also want to inform people that bottled water in rural areas may be contaminated so take extra precautions. Try to drink boiled water and freshly made food which is served hot. No left over or cold portion for any meal.