ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes:Common Killer Diseases in the Tropics: Malaria
- Malaria is one of the most widespread diseases in Tropical Africa.
- It is caused by a parasite called plasmodium,
- which is transmitted by the female anopheles mosquito.
- When a female anopheles mosquito bites a patient, it draws up some blood containing the parasite.
- The malarial parasites pass through several developmental stages within the body of the mosquito before
- finding their way to the mosquito’s salivary glands.
- The parasite enters the bloodstream of the next victim the mosquito bites.
- The parasite then enters the red blood cells of the victim.
- They will grow and multiply until they replace all the haemoglobin in the red cells.
- As the cell breaks up it releases the parasites to attack more cells.
- Symptoms of malaria include; fever, weakness in the joints, headache, chills and sweating, accompanied by drowsiness and confusion.
- Malaria can be treated with malaria drugs such as chloroquine and fancida.
- The disease can be prevented through the use of anti-mosquito coils, creams, soaps and anti-malaria drugs.
- The most effective way is to disrupt the mosquito’s life cycle.
- This can be done by covering breeding areas of the mosquito such as pits, draining marshed and swamps.
- The pouring of oil or paraffin on stagnant water can also disrupt the cycle.
- Certain type of fish can also be introduced to feed on the mosquito larvae.
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