WHAT IS MALARIA?
Malaria is a parasite
Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic infectious disease.Caused by the Plasmodium Parasite.This parasite lives in the blood of humans and animals.The mosquito is not the cause of malaria.When all people are healed from malaria, then this disease is eliminated.That is why knowledge about malaria is important in the fight against this disease.
(Plasmodium = the name of the malaria parasite) Plasmodium Berghei, P. Chabaudi, P. Durae, P. Elongatum, P. Gallinaceum, P. Hexamerium are only a few parasite species that occur in animals. In total there are more than 200 types of animal malaria. Animals such as birds, bats, lizards, monkeys and antelopes can become infected with malaria parasites. Birds can become seriously ill and dozens of species have died out due to malaria. Each type of malaria has a different life cycle. People cannot get sick from animal malaria. Although a few years ago, Plasmodium Knowlesi, the species that occurs among Gorillas, also causes a human disease.
People can get sick with 5 types of human malaria: Plasmodium Falciparum, P. Malariae, P. Ovale, P. Vivax and P. Knowlesie. The most serious form, Plasmodium Falciparum, mainly occurs in Africa and mainly affects young children. Africa is the hardest hit with 90% of all deaths in the world. The P. Falciparum form can degenerate into a severe stage that is fatal within 24 hours if not treated. Children in African countries are the most affected. Anyone who is infected with the malaria parasite is a danger to others. A person carrying the deadly parasite can infect someone else with his or her contaminated blood. Not through mucous membranes, breastfeeding or sexual transmission, but via the sting of a mosquito, which transfers the contaminated blood from one person to another.
Mosquitoes are not the cause of malaria
They are not born as carriers of malaria. They get the disease by sucking contaminated blood with the parasite from a sick person. For all types of mosquitoes, the digestive system destroys the parasite, including the digestive system of the Anopheles mosquito. After sucking the contaminated blood, it takes about two weeks for the pathogen to spread so far through the body of the mosquito that the parasite is in the salivary glands. Then the mosquito can spread the disease with a bite, to a new human victim. The males feed on nectar and sap from fruit trees. As with other mosquito species, only the females need protein-rich blood for egg development. They are therefore constantly looking for protein-rich blood from humans and animals. The nocternal Anopheles mosquito is active in the evening and at night.
The mutation of parasites
Like all parasites, the malaria causative agent Plasmodium can mutate - genetically change. If the mutation occurs in a situation where anti-malarial drugs are used, parasites will survive if it has mutations that make it resistant to treatment. This is vital information for everyone who uses malaria prophylaxis! This means that with a malaria infection, a different type of medication must be used for the complete cure of the disease.