In tropical lands, some mosquitoes carry the parasites responsible for malaria. Once in the blood, the parasite lays eggs, which hatch and produce more parasites. The parasites keep themselves alive by feeding on the host’s red blood cells. Eventually, the host becomes sick and can even die. Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent the disease.
1. Take necessary precautions to prevent malaria from mosquito bites. Such measures include installing screens on all windows and doors. If screens are not available, a mosquito net over your bed can protect you at night. You may spray the net with a mosquito repellent.
2. Wear long sleeves and light-colored pants in the evening. Use a mosquito repellent with DEET.
3. Ask your doctor about taking a prophylactic medicine (a group of medicines that prevent malaria) if you plan to travel to a country where malaria is common. The medication can minimize the chances of you getting the disease, although it doesn’t protect you 100 percent.
4. Start taking the medication a week before your trip. Depending on which medicine you take, continue taking it for 1 to 4 weeks. If you return home before the specified time, continue taking the medicine. Otherwise, any parasites in your blood could grow and multiply.