Beware! Malaria is on the Rise

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malaria is on the rise in India

‘3- fold rise in malaria this month’ scream headlines in a leading city publication. With Mumbai reeling under the

Mumbai has recorded a total of 13,818 cases since July 1, it is reason enough to worry if one were to compare these figures to the 4830 cases reported last June. With 1.5 million cases of Malaria being reported in 2009, the current decade has witnessed the revival of a disease that was thought to be eradicated in the early 60s!

With the entire country facing the wrath of Malaria, it is best If were to protect ourselves from it. Following are a few tips to help protect yourself from Malaria.

  • Wearing Protective Clothing

Although it may sound simple, the wearing of clothes that cover your otherwise exposed skin can go a long way to prevent being bitten by the malaria carrying mosquito. Wear protective clothes such as long pant and long sleeved shirts.

Although the malaria mosquito, the anopheles mosquito, is mostly found in tropical and sub-tropical areas, you can still wear covering clothes – just make sure to take along thin, light colored, light-weight clothes when planning your wardrobe for your time in a malaria-risk area.

Thick socks should also be worn to protect the ankles, since it is normally an exposed area.

  • Using Proprietary Insect Repellent

Since the best way to prevent malaria infection is to stop being bitten by the anopheles mosquito which carries the plasmodium parasite, the use of insect repellent is a useful tool to keep these pesky things at bay. Apply an insect repellent to exposed skin which contains the ingredient di-ethyl toluamide (DEET). Various types of DEET containing insect repellents are available and ones containing concentrations of up to 50% DEET are effective and the results last for about four hours.

  • Sleeping Under a Mosquito Net

Not only will mosquito nets keep these flying irritations at bay, but will also help you in letting you sleep undisturbed. You can prevent being bitten by a mosquito while having a nap, by sleeping under a bed net. These fine gauge nets keep the mosquitoes away from you while sleeping and if hung correctly are most effective. Some nets that you can purchase are already treated with an insecticide, or a proprietary insecticide can be bought and applied separately.

Although it may be cumbersome to get under a mosquito net the first time it really is an excellent way to protect yourself. Care must be taken not to snag the netting as even small holes will allow the mosquitoes to enter the protected area.

  • Fixing Your House/Room to be Mosquito “Un-Friendly”

Although the term “room management” may not be the correct phrase to use, planning your bedroom or any other in the house to be “mosquito un-friendly” is an excellent way to protect yourself against malaria (plasmodium) infection. There are also other methods to help reduce the risk of malaria infection. A room fitted with mosquito mesh screens on the windows and doors are very successful in keeping mosquitoes at bay when the doors and windows are kept open for fresh air.

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