Malaria is seen as one of the biggest threats to an infant’s health. Read on to know about malaria in babies - its causes, symptoms & treatment.
Malaria in Babies
It can be most disheartening for parents to see their apple of eye down with sickness. Babies are more prone to infections during their early years of infancy. As parents the best gift you can give your child is a healthy childhood. Nutritious diet and basic hygienic care may not be always enough to protect your baby from acquiring harmful diseases. What you need is a correct attitude and proper awareness towards your baby’s health to combat all risks. Most parents often fancy thinking that their babies are less likely targets of diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. Result? They end up treating fever and flu as general signs of cold when at times it could indicate something graver. Educating yourself on some of the most common health threats of your child can help you fight all risks of infections. Malaria is one of the most common diseases to be found in children below five years of age. Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic infection generally characterized by fever, chills, and sweating. Malaria parasites contain the capacity to inflate in a short time thereby posing a risk of epidemic. A little care, proper diagnosis and timely medication can help save you a lot of trouble.
Malaria is more common in warm, tropical climates. A baby acquires malaria when smitten by an infected Anopheles mosquito and the parasites enter his bloodstream to his liver. Malaria can be treated with anti-malarial drugs. However not all drugs are suitable for your babies. Here’s more on malaria and ways to deal with it.
- Babies suffering from malaria will show sudden behavioral changes like irritability, lethargy, drowsiness, loss of appetite and aversion towards food.
- Your baby is likely to get fever when suffering from malaria. In certain cases, the fever can rise with time while in some infants, the fever can shoot up immediately and go as high as 105 degrees.
- When you baby is down with malaria, he will show flu-like symptoms like chills, sweating, headache and muscle aches.
- You baby may also show some rare symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea when suffering from malaria.
- If malaria affects your baby’s brain, it might lead to serious and aggressive symptoms like seizures, convulsions and unconsciousness.
- You baby might pass less urine or even suffer kidney damage or kidney failure if malaria affects the kidneys.
Malaria can be diagnosed by using special blood tests. A blood test is all it takes to confirm if one is infected with malaria.
Malaria can at times lead to severe complications. Therefore, prompt diagnosis and treatment is required to fight it. Anti-malarial medicines such as chloroquine or quinine, given by mouth, by injection, or intravenously (into the veins) are used to treat malaria. The type of medicine prescribed, and the term of your treatment, will rest on a number of factors like the type of malaria, whether you are pregnant, your age, the place where you were infected and the severity of the symptoms. Doctors usually look out for signs of dehydration, convulsions, anemia, and other complications that can affect the brain, kidneys, or spleen in the patient. Babies suffering from malaria should to be kept on fluids, blood transfusions, and breathing assistance.
Malaria is a serious threat to underdeveloped nations, while health authorities are taking adequate measures to control it by using mosquito-control programs aimed at killing mosquitoes that carry the disease. If you travel to the vulnerable areas of the world that run a higher risk of malaria, be careful to use window screens, insect repellents, and place mosquito netting over beds.
Consult your doctor before visiting any tropical or subtropical area and ask for anti-malarial drugs. Several vaccines are being developed to fight malaria but due to the complicated life cycle of malaria parasite, these vaccines are difficult to develop.