Several different forms of malaria occur in different areas of the world, and malaria management is helping to lessen the impact of a disease that can range from mildly uncomfortable to deadly. Vaccines for those traveling in countries and continents known for malaria can help keep individuals from contracting the disease and returning home with it. For those who live in areas where there is a risk of malaria, management tips can be as simple as sleeping under mosquito netting.
Malaria is spread by mosquitoes; when infected mosquitoes bite an individual, the malaria virus is transferred to that person. There are several different strains of malaria, but the method of spreading is the same for all. Preventing mosquito bites is one method of malaria management. Mosquito nets over beds or sleeping bags can help keep bugs away at night, as can making sure windows and doors are always sealed with at least a fine screen. Insect repellent can also help keep mosquito carriers away from individuals.
On a larger scale, methods of malaria management can also be successful in preventing cases. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, and eliminating some of the largest breeding sites and sources of stagnant water can go a long way in lessening the numbers of mosquitoes carrying the disease. This can be particularly effective when done in areas with large populations. Use of insecticides can also kill adult mosquitoes, eggs, and larvae.
When a mosquito bites an infected individual and then goes on to bite others, the disease can spread. Administering an anti-malaria drug to all individuals regardless of whether or not they have been confirmed as having the disease can also help stop the spread of the disease. Limiting the number of hosts for malaria can help contain the parasite. Different medications have different effects, and there is always a danger that individuals who do not have malaria will build up a resistance to the drug when it is given.
A large part of malaria management is making sure medical professionals can quickly and accurately diagnose cases of malaria, then administer the correct medication. Getting the medication to some of the individuals who need it can be difficult, as malaria is often found in remote and economically depressed areas. In order to be successful, some types of malaria treatment must be administered within hours of displaying symptoms. Education is also an important part of malaria management; making sure individuals can recognize symptoms and know how to get treatment is crucial.