In Africa, malaria is so common that sometimes people who are feeling unwell just walk
into a medicine store and ask for “malaria drugs.”
They know that even if they can’t put their finger on anything, they can at least blame poor old malaria.
It has been around for a long time and has been caught red-handed so often that people don’t bother to look for any evidence of its presence anymore.
They just reach for an anti-malaria medication and move on with their lives.
Many people think they know everything there is to know about malaria.
You know, they’ve been playing ball with this thing all their lives.
Yet, there are some misconceptions they have about malaria that will surprise them.
If in your attempts to fight malaria, you’ve been puzzled by some observations, this article will answer your questions.
Malaria Has Nothing to Do with Typhoid
Hardly do you walk past a rowdy market place in Nigeria without hearing the
advertisement for some wonder native medicine.
Usually, this advert is pre-recorded and played at the top volume via a loud speaker, claiming to cure every disease known and unknown to human kind.
Of course, these marketers never spare poor old malaria and typhoid.
They ascribe almost every troubling symptom to typhoid and malaria which their “medicine” then claims to cure.
Truth is, malaria has nothing to do with typhoid.
They aren’t twins like many people like to think.
In fact, they are not related at all.
If you’re having typhoid, it means you’ve been eating the faeces of someone who also has typhoid or who carries Salmonella without having symptoms.
Now, you can eat all the shit in this world but never have malaria.
Malaria is caused by the bite of a particular type of mosquito.
Although both typhoid and malaria can give you fever, that’s only how close they can ever get.
Typhoid symptoms stay in the digestive system, typically vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhoea, while malaria symptoms are broader and may not affect the digestive system ordinarily.
You say, why then do people get treated for both typhoid and malaria so often?
If you see a qualified doctor, he isn’t likely to treat you for typhoid just because you have malaria and vice versa.
However, people who have typhoid may still have malaria as a separate condition merely occurring in their bodies at the same time by coincidence.
Regardless, since typhoid has to do with poor hygiene, people suffering from it are also likely to be living in places that are prone to mosquitoes, making them likely to have malaria.
You May Have Malaria Even if the Test is Negative
Yea, a negative malaria test may not mean you don’t have malaria.
There are different species of Plasmodium – the parasite that causes malaria.
Most of the rapid diagnostic kits available test only for a specific species.
This means if your malaria is caused by a different species, the test may show negative.
This is why if you’re having its symptoms, doctors will still treat you for malaria even if your test result comes out negative.
You Can Have Malaria if You’re Stressed
I didn’t say stress causes malaria, did I?
It doesn’t. Yet, if you’re stressed, your body can come down with malaria.
Why? In Africa, try hard as we can, mosquitoes still bite us once in a while.
The reason we are not always coming down with malaria is that our bodies try to suppress the parasites if they’re not many.
Whenever you come down with malaria symptoms, it means your body’s defense is overwhelmed.
This can happen if the parasites grow in number beyond a certain level.
It can also happen if, even though the parasites are not that many, your body is not that strong either.
Physical stress makes your body weak and unable to fight off the parasites, making them able to cause you symptoms even when you don’t remember being bitten much by mosquitoes.
That’s why many students come down with malaria during exam periods.
You know, they’re reading harder and longer, sleeping less and probably not eating well either.
All this stress overwhelms their body and makes way for malaria to show itself.
Malaria is Not Your Mate. It Can Kill
Many people think they don’t need to see a doctor if they’re having malaria symptoms.
Yet, they need to know that malaria is not their mate.
Most of what everybody treats on their own by buying antimalarial drugs, is called uncomplicated malaria.
This means it has only mild symptoms.
However, there is what is called severe malaria which can kill because it is a kind of malaria that affects the functions of your vital body parts.
In pregnant women and children aged 5 years or less, you shouldn’t joke with malaria.
You’ve got to pay attention to the various known methods to prevent malaria, and see a doctor immediately you start to have symptoms.
In addition, pregnant women who attend their antenatal clinic regularly are given medicine to prevent malaria even when they don’t
Not All Mosquitoes Cause Malaria and Not Only Malaria is Caused by Mosquitoes
I guess that sounds like a brain teaser.
Well, it’s the truth.
Not every kind of mosquito can give you malaria if it bites you.
The kind that gives malaria is the female anopheles mosquito, which bites more commonly in the early hours of the day about 4 o’clock in the morning.
Now, I didn’t say it cannot bite at other times.
No need squeezing your eyes, trying to identify which type of mosquito it is that’s singing in your ears.
It may not be the female anopheles, but it is certainly not harmless.
You agree with me, don’t you? I haven’t met any good mosquito, have you?
In fact, I think the only good mosquito is a dead one.
Even if it only sings in your ears, that’s enough harm already, isn’t it?
Yet, other mosquitoes don’t merely sing, they also cause other diseases.
Ever heard of yellow fever? Yea, it’s caused by a mosquito bite too.
See? You’re better off with no mosquitoes at all.
Thankfully, animal rights activists aren’t asking for mosquito rights to life yet, are they?
So, what do you do? Get them mosquitoes out of your space, entirely.
Mass murder them, in any way you can. It’s legal.