World Malaria Day is celebrated on 25 April each yaer to raise awareness about this blood disease. It is one of the worlds’ deadliest, life threatening, blood diseases caused by a mosquito bite. Only the female Anopheles mosquito can transmit malaria when it bites humans.
Did you know, the most active, biting, time of this dangerous insect is between 9 pm and 5 am?
India has a high malaria burden but it has been steadily decreasing since 2000. In the year 2000 there were 20,31,790 reported cases, 932 deaths and by 2019 there was a significant decline in reported cases with 3,38,494 cases.
Globally there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria in 2019. [Source: WHO, World Malaria Report 2020]
5 countries account for about 51% of all cases globally.
Image Source: WHO, World Malaria Report 2020
Nigeria (27%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%), Mozambique (4%) and Niger (3%) accounted for about 51% of all cases globally in the last year.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. It is interesting to know that the female Anopheles mosquito doesn't make a humming sound like other mosquitoes and when it bites there is no red rash on the bite mark- this makes it an even deadlier silent attacker. A person bitten in sleep may not realize the bite at all!
Global Malaria Burden
Malaria was originally called Marsh Fever due to its association with swamps and marshlands where mosquitoes grow. People thought it occurs due to 'bad (mal) air' and that is how it got its name 'Malaria'.
Some of the main symptoms of malaria are continuous high fever, cold, shivering, headaches, and vomiting.
Since malaria is spread via a mosquito, killing mosquitoes and preventing their breeding is the only effective way to prevent the disease.
You can join in in getting rid of Malaria from your surroundings. Make sure still-water is not left for long in pots, near dustbins or in puddles on the road. The Anopheles mosquito breeds (lays eggs) in dirty water.