Precautions to prevent malaria should include stopping breeding of mosquito in your area, protecting yourself from mosquito bites and seeking immediate diagnosis and treatment.

    Malaria facts:

    Malaria is a widespread problem in tropical and subtropical regions generally around the equator. There's a significant risk of getting malaria if you live in or travels to affected areas.

    Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease. It is transmitted to humans by Anopheles mosquitoes that carry a parasite called Plasmodium.

    Malaria parasites infect the liver and red blood cells, leading to their dysfunction and destruction. It reduces the number of red blood cells in the body, which results in anemia.

    Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. However, malaria treatment has become more challenging as malaria parasites grow increasingly drug-resistant. It is therefore important to seek treatment from a doctor.

    Precautions to prevent malaria:

    1. Stop breeding of mosquito in your area.

    Remove or destroy mosquito breeding sites. Mosquitoes breed on water bodies which are standing/stationary for more than a week.

    Prevent water logging, collection of pools of water on open grounds. Fill depressions that collect water, drain swamps, ditch marshy areas to remove standing water, and carefully manage irrigation water.

    Collect uncovered/open containers during the rainy season. These include old utensils, vessels, buckets, car tyres, bottles, tender coconut shells etc. in the open since they collect water. They should be either destroyed or buried or at least kept inverted so that water cannot collect in them. All such things should be cleared during the rainy season.

    Clear wet bushes and shrubs around the house. They provide sites for mosquito breeding.

    Keep water tanks tightly closed. A black plastic sheet can be used for the purpose. Also, all tanks should be emptied, cleaned and allowed to dry for at least half an hour, once every week.

    2. Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

    Sleep under intact, insecticide-treated mosquito net.

    Cover your arms and legs especially during early evening and at night, when mosquitoes prefer to feed. Wear socks, long pants (light, loose-fitting trousers), shirts and blouses with long sleeves.

    Use insect repellent to spray the rooms and keep off mosquito.

    Make sure main doors and windows are closed properly and screened with gauze to prevent mosquitoes from getting in.

    3. Seek immediate diagnosis and treatment.

    Seek treatment immediately you notice symptoms of malaria.

    Diagnosis as well as taking the right malarial tablets at the right dose is critical when treating malaria.

    Important!

    Avoid self-prescription. Seek treatment from a doctor.

    Pregnant women and young children should avoid travelling to malaria-prone areas.

    There's currently no vaccine available that offers protection against malaria, so it's very important to take antimalarial medication to reduce your chances of getting the disease. However, anti-malarial only reduce your risk of infection by about 90%, so taking steps to avoid mosquito bites is also important.

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