7 Interesting Facts about Malaria

Malaria is a pretty common disease in certain parts of the world. It infects hundreds of millions every year and kills half a million of these. It is therefore a very important health issue that you should have knowledge about. Here are some interesting facts about malaria.

1. Only female mosquitoes transmit malaria

malaria knows no bordersYou probably know that the species of mosquitoes that transmits malaria is. What you may not have known is that only the females transmit it. In fact, the Anopheles males do not even feed on human blood (they feed on nectar). The female Anopheles mosquitoes need mammalian blood to help their eggs develop and as they bite they transmit the malaria parasite, plasmodium.

2. The word ‘malaria’ originates from an Italian word

In Italian, the word malaria means ‘bad air’. Italians first believed that the disease was caused by the fumes from swamps. They would later discover that it is actually the mosquitoes that live in the swamp that are responsible.

3. Malaria is more rampant in humid and warm climate

In cold and dry places malaria is almost unheard of. It is more common in areas that are warm and humid. This is the reason why the number of cases rises adversely during the monsoon. The weather then is ideal for multiplication of Anopheles mosquitoes.

4. Drinking beer increases your chances of malaria infection

According to a research carried out by scientists at the University of Emory in 2010, mosquitoes love the smell of beer. During the research, those who were drinking beer were bitten by mosquitoes more than those who were drinking water. So, if you want to travel to a malaria-infected area, avoid beer.

5. Disney's Seven Dwarfs know how to beat malaria

In 1943, Disney released a film titled The Winged Scourge. In this animated film, the dwarfs from Snow White fairy tale learned about malaria and how to thwart the mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Snow White missed out though. This was a great way to create public health announcement.

6. Malaria does not discriminate

The disease can infect any one regardless of their ethnicity and social standing. It has affected many people in the history of the world including eight presidents of America. It has even caused the death of four popes. The famous philosopher Mahatma Gandhi also suffered from malaria and so did Mother Teresa the saint.

7. Malaria can lead to brain damage

When left untreated, malaria migrates from the blood stream into other organs. It may move to the brain and become cerebral malaria which leads to brain damage. The common complications include convulsions and loss of muscle function.