Malaria is a serious disease that you have certainly heard or read about. It is good to know what Malaria is and how to recognize an infection with the parasite. Although Malaria is most common in Asia, South America and Africa, the disease can also be spread in the Netherlands. In this blog we explain what Malaria is, how you get it and what you can do about it.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a disease caused by various parasites. These parasites are transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes. A bite from a mosquito can therefore cause you to become infected and contract Malaria. Malaria is therefore not a virus or bacteria! The mosquitoes that we usually see in the Netherlands cannot transmit these parasites. Yet malaria occurs in the Netherlands, especially in people who have been to tropical and subtropical areas. Malaria is therefore seen in the Netherlands as an imported disease.
How do I recognize Malaria?
Malaria has a clear clinical picture that is comparable to the flu. Fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and feeling unwell are the symptoms that can occur with Malaria. Now you do not have to immediately fear Malaria if you have these symptoms. Unless you have recently been to a tropical or subtropical area. Then it is necessary to call your doctor immediately. The GP can determine whether you have Malaria based on the complaints and a blood test.
Is Malaria dangerous?
Malaria comes in different degrees and how dangerous Malaria is also depends on which parasite you are infected with. Nevertheless, Malaria should always be treated. If the disease is not treated, it can result in serious complaints and you can even die! It is known that Malaria can affect the liver, among other things. So if in doubt, it is absolutely necessary to contact your doctor.
Treatment plan against Malaria
The doctor will have to perform a blood test to determine whether you are infected. If the result is positive, you must report to the hospital where you will receive intravenous medication. These are often combinations of different medications to kill the parasite and prevent the spread of the infection. With timely treatment, the chance of recovery is 100 percent!
How do I prevent Malaria?
Your best friend comes to visit after being in a tropical or subtropical area. Don't worry, because Malaria can only be transmitted by mosquitoes. Suppose he has an infection that has not yet been detected, you do not have to fear that you will also become infected. When you travel to a tropical or subtropical area where malaria is present, it is good to wear clothing that covers the body as much as possible. It is best to treat exposed skin with a product containing DEET. To repel insects and therefore also mosquitoes. At night it is wise to sleep under a mosquito net in these areas.
Suitable malaria medications: