Malaria is a parasitic infection that is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The parasites enter the bloodstream and attack the red blood cells. Shortly thereafter, they move to the liver where they rapidly reproduce (Jacobsen, 2019, pp.228-229). The host will exhibit flu-like symptoms between 7-30 days after being infected (CDC, 2017). Malaria is a global health concern as there are currently 67 countries and three billion people around the world located in tropical and subtropical regions where this disease is bountiful. The high temperatures and heavy rainfall are favorable conditions for the development and spread of these parasites (Karunaweera, Galappaththy, and Wirth, 2014, pp.1-4). Malaria is also a health concern for travelers. It has been one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases among travelers who travel to tropical regions and return with febrile symptoms (Dotrario, et al., 2016, p.2). When traveling to these regions, wear long sleeves and pants to cover as much skin as possible. It is also very important to wear mosquito repellent that contains a chemical known as DEET that will prevent the mosquito from biting. The most common times these bites occur are at dawn and dusk, therefore it is very important to prevent sleeping outside (Jacobsen, 2019, pp.230-231).
Eradication efforts of this disease should begin with education efforts to those who live in these regions and travelers alike. Early detection, diagnosis and rapid treatment of symptomatic carriers should help minimize the spread of the disease. Rapid and effective outbreak containment and regular reassessment of each country’s malaria conditions should also help reduce the spread of this disease (Dotrario, 2016, pp.5-6). Our sustainable development goal for the eradication of this disease should be for all to be in good health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Malaria. Retrieved from https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/malaria
Dotrario, A. B., Menon, L. J. B., Bollela, V. R., Martinez, R., Cardoso de Almeida e Araújo, D., Lopes de Fonseca, B. A., and de C. Santana, R. (2016). Malaria and other febrile diseases among travelers: The experience of a reference centre located outside the Brazilian Amazon Region. Malaria Journal, 15(294), 1-11. doi:10.1186/s12936-016-1347-x
Jacobsen, K. H. (2019). Introduction to Global Health (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Karunaweera, N. D., Galappaththy, G. N. L. and Wirth, D. F. (2014). On the road to eliminate malaria in Sri Lanka: Lessons from history, challenges, gaps in knowledge and research needs. Malaria Journal, 13(59), 1-10. http://www.malariajournal.com/content/13/1/59