Class 5 EVS

A Treat for Mosquitoes


Malaria is a dangerous disease. The term malaria is composed of two words, mal and air. The term mal is used for bad. The literal meaning of malaria is bad air. Around a hundred years back, people believed that this disease was caused by obnoxious air from the swamp. So, the disease was named as malaria.

MalariaSpread by bite of mosquito
CarrierFemale Anopheles mosquito
SymptomsFever with shivering
CureQuinine tablet
PreventionPreventing breeding of mosquitoes

There was a British doctor, named Ronald Ross. He was living in India, along with his father. He was the person to discover that malaria is spread by the bite of mosquito. He was able to see that tiny germs in the stomach of mosquito were same as the germs found in the blood of a malaria patient. For this discovery, Ronald Ross was given the Nobel Prize in 1902.

Symptoms: A patient of malaria gets high fever along with shivering. Shivering means that the person feels chill or cold when the fever rises. The patient may die if the disease is not treated on time.

Cause: Malaria is spread by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito. Anopheles is a type of mosquito. This means that other mosquitoes do not spread malaria. When a female Anopheles mosquito bites a malaria patient, germs of malaria enter the body of the mosquito. When the same mosquito bites a healthy person, the germs of malaria enter the body of the healthy person. That is how a healthy person ends up suffering from malaria.

Prevalence of Malaria: Mosquitoes are in abundance in hot and humid climate. So, countries with hot and humid climate have very high prevalence of malaria. Some examples of such countries are India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam, Malaysia, African countries, etc.

Breeding Ground for Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. An egg of mosquito grows to become a larva. The plural form of larva is larvae. A larva of mosquito looks like a tiny worm. You can find such larvae in stagnant water. Water collected in a ditch, a flower pot, cooler, old tyre, etc. is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. In due course of time, larva grows to become a mosquito.

Test for Malaria: A blood test needs to be done in order to confirm malaria. For this, a few drops of blood is taken from the tip of the finger. The sample of blood is sent to pathological laboratory. The pathologist looks for germs of malaria in blood sample.

Cure for Malaria: In olden days, bark of cinchona was boiled. After that, the water was filtered to be used as a cure for malaria. It is not easy to drink the bitter concoction made from cinchona. Now-a-days, tablets are available. It is more palatable than the bitter concoction.

Prevention of Malaria

mosquito netUse mosquito net on bed
Spray BottleUse mosquito repellant
sweeper with broomMaintain cleanliness

The best way to prevent malaria is to prevent a mosquito from biting you. We can take following steps to prevent malaria.

Other Diseases Spread by Mosquito: Apart from malaria, mosquitoes spread many other diseases. They are dengue, filaria and chikangunya.