Malaria Week: 10 Things You Should Know

1. Malaria is a serious disease that can cause death.

It is caused by a parasite that infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness and can die. 

6. Fewer people are getting malaria every year!

The World Health Organisation has found that the number of people with malaria has gone down by 54% in Africa since the year 2000. 

2. In South Africa, malaria areas include

the north-eastern parts of Limpopo (along the borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe), the lowveld areas of Mpumalanga (including the Kruger National Park but excluding Mbombela and immediate surrounds) and the far northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal. 

7. You can protect yourself by dressing smartly.

If you’re traveling to a country where malaria is a problem, wear long sleeves and pants, use mosquito repellant, and sleep under a mosquito net at night. 

3. Not all mosquitoes can carry malaria.

There are over 3 500 species in the world, but the experts believe that only about 40 species can spread malaria. 

8. You can take malaria tablets if you live in a malaria area

or if you are traveling to an area with malaria. If you’re travelling to another country, always ask your doctor if you need to take anti-malaria medication or not. 

4. You might not notice malaria right away.

Malaria patients usually only malaria a few weeks after they’ve been bitten by an infected mosquito. 

9. People with weaker immune systems have a higher chance of getting malaria.

This includes young children, babies, pregnant women, and older people. 

5. You can get malaria months after being bitten!

The parasite can sit “quietly” in your body for a long time before you get the symptoms. So be aware! There also different kinds of malaria that each create different reactions and can be more or less serious.

10. Malaria can be treated.

Nowadays doctors can treat people with malaria, and give them medication that clears all the parasites from your body. 


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