Malaria has been the most significant source of mosquito-borne illnesses worldwide. It is because of malaria that mosquitoes have been named the most dangerous animals alive. In the United States, there is an average of 1,700 cases of malaria each year, which is a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated 219 million cases and 435,000 deaths around the world. There are a few countries you should be aware of while traveling where malaria has become an epidemic.
How Does Malaria Spread?
Two parasites pose the greatest threat for Malaria: P. falciparum and P. vivax. An infected female Anopheles mosquito is the only species that can carry these two parasites. A mosquito becomes a carrier after feeding on an infected person and then transmitting the parasite to the next healthy person. The P. falciparum parasite accounted for 99.7% of malaria cases in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region, 62.8% of Southeast Asia cases, 69% Eastern Mediterranean cases, and 71.9% of Western Pacific cases. P. vivax is the predominant parasite in the Americas, representing 74.1% of malaria cases.
Where Is Malaria Most Common?
The Sub-Saharan African region is home to 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths. In 2017, the majority of Malaria cases came from only 5 countries: Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), Mozambique (5%), India (4%), and Uganda (4%). Unfortunately, children under the age of 5 accounted for 61% (266,000) of malaria deaths worldwide.
Preventing mosquito bites while traveling is vital to protect yourself in a malaria-risk country. Before you travel to these countries, an antimalarial vaccination can prevent infection from this disease. The use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying are adequate vector controls for any malaria-affected areas. Check out one of our previous blogs, 7 Ways to Keep Pests Away While Sleeping in an area with infected mosquitoes.
It is challenging to recognize malaria without proper diagnosis of an acute febrile illness. If the first symptoms—fever, headaches, and chills—are not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, which frequently leads to death. If you have any concerns, always consult a doctor.
Contact Mosquito Squad to protect your yard against mosquitoes and their mosquito-borne illnesses today. You can also help save lives by donating to Malaria No More to fight this deadly disease.