The World Malaria Day is being observed across the world on Saturday (April 25).While social distancing and a national lockdown have been initiated by the governments in different countries to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, there are occasional bouts of diseases like malaria, dengue and yellow fever that require equal attention.
March and April are crucial months when preventive measures such as fogging, fumigation and awareness campaigns are undertaken.
The peak season for malaria starts from May and a spike is seen after the monsoon, in July and August.
Malaria preparedness and testing
To overcome these hurdles, innovative solutions along with the existing tools and strategies involving vector control, mass drug administration and disease surveillance hold the key to solving this gigantic health problem.
However, there is certain similarity in symptoms of COVID-19 and malaria. The early symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, myalgia and fatigue, might be confused with malaria and lead to challenges in early clinical diagnosis.Treatment and preventive measures:
1. Treating malaria is an expensive affair especially if the patient requires hospitalisation due to associated complications or has been admitted with more severe forms of malaria.
2. Right now, there are no vaccines which have been discovered for malaria but as a precautionary step, people can make use of mosquito bed nets, wear full-sleeved clothes and apply lotions on exposed skin.
3. Anti-malarial drugs should be taken as prescribed by doctors.
4. Malaria transmission occurs mostly during night because of the feeding habits of anopheles mosquitoes and taking precautionary measures against mosquito bite can help us to fight against this disease.