Malaria is a fatal disease caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. Female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit this parasite when they bite an infected person and then go on to bite someone else.
While Malaria cases are on a rise, the awareness about this disease is not rising. The public has lots of misconceptions and myths about the diseases especially how it spreads, when it spreads and what to do to stop the disease from spreading.
Let us take some time today to debunk some of the common myths surrounding this vector transmitted illness.
Myth 1: The place I stay doesn’t have any reported cases of malaria. So I am safe from catching malaria
Nope. If there are mosquitoes, especially Anopheles mosquitoes that act as vectors for the malarial parasite there are chances of you getting malaria.
Keeping the vectors away is the only way to keep yourself safe from this disease irrespective of whether you are in a low risk region or a high-risk region.
Myth 2: I use a mosquito net/repellent at bedtime. So I am safe from catching malaria
It is true that the Anopheles mosquito that spreads malaria is most active during the night. But the fact is that they can be found even during the daytime though they are most active during the dusk. So using a mosquito net or repellent only during bedtime doesn’t lower your chances of catching malaria.
The safest way is to use Goodknight mosquito repellents during the daytime and at dusk to stay protected from mosquitoes.
The Goodknight Patches and the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On are excellent ways to repel mosquitoes when you are on the go. These products are made using 100% natural and paediatrician certified, making them suitable for school going kids. The patches come with different cartoon prints and can be stuck on their uniform/bag. You can also apply just 4 dots of the Fabric Roll-On on clothes.
Neither of these products will stain your clothes nor spoil the surface where applied. And for babies, these products can be used on their prams, strollers or cots. Plus the patches and the Fabric roll-on has to choose from making it loved by kids.
A mosquito net or a liquid repellent must be used during bedtime too to ensure complete protection from mosquitoes. One can opt for the electric mosquito repellent like the Goodknight Activ+ System. This comes with the advantages of 2 modes – Normal mode & Activ mode to enable the user to switch between the two, depending on the number of mosquitoes.
Myth 3: Malaria is seasonal. So I have to use repellents only seasonally
The mosquitoes that spread malaria require warm climate with the presence of stagnant water to breed. So these mosquitoes are at the peak during and soon after the rainy season when both these conditions are met. More vectors mean higher chances of spreading the disease during this season.
But the fact is that malarial parasite can be found year round and the mosquito that spreads this is also found year round with the peek occurrence during and soon after rainy season. So taking year round protection from mosquitoes is essential to stop malaria from spreading.
Myth 4: If you are once infected with malaria you are immune to it for the rest of your life
NOPE. Getting malaria once doesn’t make you immune to the disease. You could still catch the disease if an infected mosquito bites you again.
Myth 5: Taking a particular herb/ spice/ drink or food orally makes me immune from mosquito bites
There is this common myth that eating foods like garlic during dusk can keep mosquitoes away from you. But there is no evidence to support this claim. Yes, there is evidence that it can repel other humans from coming near you thanks to the strong unpleasant odor that garlic has!
Hope I have cleared some of the common myths surrounding malaria and how it is spread.
Do practice proper hygienic methods, follow instructions from government health authorities and also use mosquito repellents all year round to be safe from malaria and other mosquito born diseases.