Malaria spreads through bites from infected mosquitoes. Help stop this preventable and treatable disease with these tips.
Step 1: Know the map Identify where malaria is most prevalent; sub-Saharan Africa, tropical areas of South America and Asia, and the Indian subcontinent all harbor the parasite that causes the disease.
TIP: If you're traveling abroad, check online for the risks in your specific destination.
Step 2: Take preventative medicine Traveling to a malarial hotspot? Have your doctor prescribe preventative medication well in advance of your trip. Tell your doctor if you're pregnant or have any pre-existing conditions to ensure you receive the most effective prescription possible.
: You can still contract malaria even when taking preventative medication. If you have a combination of fever, chills, sweats, nausea, headaches, and body aches, seek immediate medical attention.
Step 3: Use a bed net Hang an insecticide-treated mosquito net above your bed to create a barrier between your skin and the insects; the insecticide will kill even those mosquitoes that get through the net's small holes.
Step 4: Cover up Wear long sleeves and long pants as often as possible, and use insect repellant with DEET or Picaridin on clothing and any exposed skin to limit exposure and help prevent bites. Drain areas of standing water to reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.
TIP: Consult the directions on bug spray bottles to ensure safe use.
Step 5: Spray your home Subject rooms to indoor residual spraying, the application of long-acting chemical insecticides; this reduces the lifespan and population density of dangerous mosquitoes and limits the possibility of their coming into contact with humans.
Step 6: Make a donation Make a wider impact -- donate money or volunteer with organizations dedicated to stopping the spread of malaria, and help create a healthier world.
FACT: Insecticide-treated bed nets, if used by the total population, have been shown to lower the spread of malaria by 90 percent.