Malaria is one of the most common diseases prevalent in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It causes fair amount of loss of life every year and it greatly lowers the vitality by its repeated attacks. But it is a disease which can be prevented as the latest science has proved beyond doubt that it can be contracted in but one way and that is by the biting of an infected mosquito-mosquito that has previously bitten some person suffering from malaria.
It is caused by malaria parasite which grows in the patient's blood and causes symptoms of the disease after its full development in man. When a mosquito bites a man suffering from malaria, it sucks up into its stomach some of the man's blood. In this way it carries the parasite to other persons by biting hem and injecting the infected blood into their system.
To prevent the spread of this disease it is necessary t destroy the mosquitoes. They generally breed in pools of stagnant water. So all the pools near the inhabited areas should either be filled up or if this cannot inhabited areas should either be filled up or if this cannot be done the surface of the water should be sprayed with kerosene oil or dilute solution of cresol. Mosquitoes can travel quite a good distance and with a favorable win they can go as far as a mile or even more. It is therefore best to kill them in their breeding stage.
The class of mosquitoes that causes malaria breeds only in the summer and rainy months. In water their growth is checked by the low temperature. The mosquitoes generally bite after sunset. To present the biting of these mosquitoes it is therefore essential that one should sleep under a net during the malaria season.
When a patient gets an attack if malaria it generally starts by severe shivering of the whole body. Thus is called the cold stage. It lasts from half to one hour. It is soon followed by fever and the patient feels hot and very uncomfortable. This is termed hot stage. It generally lasts from 12 to 24 hour or ever more after which the patient perspires heavily and the temperature falls down this stage being known as the sweating stage. Such an attack of malaria ma come every day on alternate days or at intervals of two days.
The most specific remedy for this disease is Quinine, which should be taken either in the from of a solution or in pills. The quantity varies with the age of patient. Quinine taken regularly during the malaria season can save a person from its attack.
Chiretta an indigenous drug if soaked at night and taken next morning is said to have good effect. It it much cheaper than quinine and can be had everywhere in Pakistan.