Notes on clinical findings, mode of transmission and prevention of Malaria

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Malaria is the most important of all tropical diseases and one of the worst curses of humanity, remains even today a serious health problem in our country.

For centuries it has reaped its toll in sickness, inefficiency, under develo­ped suffering, potbellied children arid tens of thousands of human lives. Malaria is most common in rural communities. It strikes hardest during the cop season when labor is needed most. It lessens in its victims both the capacity and the inclination for work, as a result, initiative and ambition; of an individual the most essential factors in the progress of a nation are retarded.

Malaria is caused by a microscopic animal parasite, first discovered in 1830 by Doctor Laveran, a French physi­cian. Later it was found that three common species of parasite which causes malaria in man. They are Plasmo­dium vivid Plasmodium malaria, Plasmodium falciparum- All three types are characterized by alternating attacks of chills and fever. The principal difference in their symptom is the length of time between the attacks.

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Mode of Transmission

It is the bite of a special kind of mosquito which causes malaria. Malaria parasites are transmitted from man to man through the agency of female anopheline mosquitoes only. Anopheles mosquitoes have usually spotted wings. They rest at an angle with surface of the object keeping their body and proboscis in one line—in simple words— they stand on their heads,

Clinical Findings:

Ten or fifteen days after the biting of the anopheles mosquito, people get fever. Sometimes the person gets fever every other day or every day or every fourth; day. Generally the person gets chills and fever and complained of periodical attacks, beginning at about noon or later. The person feels cold all over and may vomit.

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After a varying period of about 2 hours the skin becomes hot and flushed, and the headache is more intense. This phase persists for 2 or 3 hours, and is then followed by sweating and marked relief from the discomforts. Adults and children who are very ill with malaria look anemic and weak. The children develop large spleens and are under developed.

Prevention and Control:

First of all the resting place of the mosquitoes should be located to get rid of them. They rest during day time generally on the walls of rooms and corners in dark and damp places, behind and under admirals, tables and beds, in cattle sheds etc. They lay eggs in swamps, water recep­tacles like cocoanut shells, drains, borrow pits, rain water jitters etc.

Elimination of the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes can be best effected by drainage and by sprinkl­ing the breeding places with some substance to destroy the larvae of the mosquitoes. D.D.T. powder, if sprayed effec­tively will destroy all mosquito larvae. However, for malaria, Chloral quince is the drug of choice.

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In India ever since the beginning of the 20th century when Ross’s epoch making discovery of malaria transmission by mosquito was made, malaria control has been in progress representing different methods, phases or stages in progress towards the time when man shall conquer by stumping out the disease. However, a notable contribution towards malaria control was the discovery of D.D.T. It plays a very important pioneering role in controlling malaria in rural areas.

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