Getting Malaria, is easy: just pack away the mosquito net, attend evening braais in short-sleeved shirts – or no shirt – without mosquito repellent. Skip those anti-malaria tabs, or just take them now and again, and leave doors and windows open from sunset to sunrise! The mozzies will treat you like a buffet.
But who even WANTS to get malaria – on purpose? You’re right, it’s a crazy idea! If malaria is that serious, why don’t people protect themselves? Travellers may not always be well-informed, but mostly, people just get careless. But we bet you take malaria as seriously as we do, and here’s why:
- In 2013, over 430 000 children in various countries in Africa died, with 90% of the world’s malaria deaths occurred in Africa.
- Half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, according to World Health Organisation stats.
- Every year, 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria. This leads to more than 150 million malaria cases and about 500 000+ malaria deaths!
Unfortunately, malaria isn’t a simple illness – your body doesn’t just fight it off, like a cold or the flu. Malaria is caused by a parasite.
Yes, you read that right! And it’s carried by the female Anopheles mosquito, which is why every anti-mosquito step is the only way to stay safe.
If the thought of having a parasite reproducing itself in your liver and bloodstream isn’t enough to put you off, here are the symptoms of malaria:
- Severe cases can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma and even death
And you can get it again. And again. And again.
We’re sure we don’t need to convince you that it’s best to avoid Malaria in the first place! And it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:
- Wear long-sleeves and close windows and doors before sunset
- Take your anti-malarial medication properly
- Use mosquito protection – including repellent and nets
Yes, there’s only one golden rule:
For more info on malaria, see Things You Need to Know About Malaria.