What is malaria and how does it affect children

What is malaria and how does it affect children

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Malaria or malaria is a disease that affects children and adults alike. It is a disease that can be fatal, but it can also be cured if it is treated in the right way and at the right times.

Malaria is transmitted to humans from the bite of infected mosquitoes, and its area of ​​action is usually the warm tropical zones, but there have also been cases in temperate climates. Although it may seem that it is a disease far from the first world, migratory movements and climate change are factors that can alter the location of the disease. In short, half of the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria. Latin America, Asia and some areas of Europe are also affected by the disease.

It is estimated that malaria kills 600,000 people a year, most of them children under the age of 5, and infects more than 200 million people annually. The epicenter of the disease is located in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, while in Asia the most affected country is India. Apart from children, pregnant women and people infected with the HIV virus are also prone to developing malaria in a critical way.

The data show some shocking figures and it is that malaria is the disease that causes the most deaths in children under 5 years of age3,000 children die every day from this disease. But despite being the deadliest disease in the world, it is not considered a public health catastrophe, something that shows the passivity of the first world to help as it should to eradicate the disease.

The incubation process varies depending on the person affected, but usually lasts around 15 days. The mosquito bites and transmits the parasites to the blood of the infected child, these move and reproduce in the liver, and then return to the bloodstream to kill the red blood cells.

It is a disease with difficult diagnosis since the first symptoms, fever, which can reach 41º centigrade, and chills, are common to many diseases. It also usually presents with headache, muscle and joint pain, and digestive disorders, such as the flu or common diarrhea.

Advances to find the malaria vaccine they are still going. There is a vaccine that works, but it is not 100% effective.

The Anopheles, the mosquito responsible for the spread of malaria, only bites at night, so precautions can be taken in this regard. Placement of a mosquito net with repellent it has managed to reduce malaria deaths by 55% in the last two years.

In addition, if you are going to travel with children to a region with a high rate of malaria cases, it would be advisable to visit the pediatrician beforehand to prescribe some antimalarial medicine as a preventive measure.

Diego Fernandez. Editor of our site

You can read more articles similar to What is malaria and how does it affect children, in the category of Childhood Diseases on site.

Video: FACT Project - Delivering Hope to Malaria Patients (May 2022).