(Please enter words below)
x
x

Please enter your details

Please enter the name
+91 Please enter the mobile number
Please select the product

Live Chat

May I help you?

Begin Chat
article
Insurance Article

World Mosquito Day: What Everybody Ought To Know About Malaria & Dengue

August 20 2020
World Mosquito Day

World Mosquito Day is observed on 20th August every year to build awareness on various diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. The day is marked to honour Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor, who first discovered in 1897 that female Anopheles mosquitoes spread malaria between humans. Since then, humankind has seen radical changes in the fight against malaria, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Mosquito-borne diseases affect about 700 million people worldwide every year, leading to over a million deaths*. Awareness around symptoms and preventive measures is the need of the hour. How much do you know about the two most common mosquito-borne illnesses – malaria and dengue? Let’s take a look at their symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention measures.

What is malaria?

A potentially life-threatening disease, malaria is transmitted via the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito carrying the malarial parasite - Plasmodium. Once the parasite reaches your bloodstream, it moves into the liver to mature, post which it infects red blood cells. The parasite then multiplies, making the red cells burst open.

What are the symptoms of malaria?

If a mosquito infected by malaria bites you, symptoms will show up within 10 days to 4 weeks. Symptoms include –

  • High fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Stomach pain and diarrhoea
  • Muscle pain
  • Coma

How is malaria diagnosed and treated?

If you experience the above symptoms, your doctor may prescribe blood tests to check for malaria. If the diagnosis is positive, you’ll then be promptly required to take anti-malarial medication. Your malaria treatment can be at home or in the hospital, based on the degree of symptoms. It is crucial to complete the entire course of medicines so that the disease does not appear again, with even worse symptoms. If the symptoms are severe, such as persistent fever, continuous vomiting, convulsions, etc., the treating doctor would ask you to get admitted to the nearest hospital immediately.

How can I prevent catching a malarial infection?

As of today, there is no vaccine for malaria. The best way to prevent malaria is to ensure you keep yourself away from mosquitoes. If you live in an area where mosquitoes are common, use mosquito coils, vaporisers or nets while sleeping. Wear full-sleeved shirts and long pants while travelling to an area known to have a lot of mosquitoes. Also, use mosquito repellent on exposed skin.

What is dengue?

Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito carrying the dengue virus. This viral infection shows flu-like symptoms and can be potentially lethal in severe cases. It is a leading cause of hospitalisation in Asian and Latin American regions.

What are the symptoms of dengue?

If a mosquito infected by dengue bites you, symptoms will show up within four to six days, and continue to show for up to 10 days. Signs of dengue include –

  • Sudden fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Skin rash

In case of severe dengue, a rare complication called dengue haemorrhagic fever may develop, causing damage to blood and lymph vessels.

How is dengue diagnosed and treated?

If you experience the above symptoms, your doctor may prescribe blood tests to check for dengue. If the test confirms dengue, you’ll then be prescribed pain killers to help combat the discomfort. There is no specific anti-dengue drug, so your doctor would recommend plenty of rest, fluids and regular check-ups. If your symptoms worsen, your doctor may ask you to get to the nearest hospital for immediate dengue fever treatment. It’s best to be checked for possible complications so that they can be addressed at the earliest.

How can I prevent catching a dengue infection?

Just like preventing malaria, the best way to avoid dengue is to ensure you keep yourself away from mosquitoes. If you live in an area where mosquitoes are common, use mosquito coils, vaporisers or nets. Shut all doors and windows before sundown, and ensure all window and door screens are free from holes. Apply mosquito repellent evenly all over exposed skin when you’re travelling to an area known to have a lot of mosquitoes.

Some other healthy practices to avoid mosquito-borne diseases include proper waste disposal and water storage. Mosquitoes typically breed in stagnant water, so be sure to keep your living space clear of it. Look out for rainwater collecting in old cans, flower pots or other containers. Keep water containers covered to ensure mosquitoes don’t access them to lay eggs.

Mosquito-borne diseases can be deadly, and they can cause undue financial stress in case of severe complications. Hospitalisation due to dengue or malaria can be easily covered with a health insurance plan, which pays for inpatient treatment and care. A single policy can go a long way in protecting your savings. Medical insurance also covers pre and post hospitalisation expenses, such as spends on blood tests or medicines. Buying the right health insurance policy with an adequate sum insured for the whole family is a wise decision that you can make this World Mosquito Day.

*Source: National Library of Medicine

Write a review