Malaria prevention

The Center for Disease Control recommends the following procedures to control and prevent Malaria from spreading. The first thing they recommend is vector control. Malaria has been virtually eliminated in The United States and Europe due to this and socio-economic improvements. The ability to add screens to windows and add air conditioning to housing combined with vector reducing abilities and treatments has led to this.

The CDC recommends the following procedures to achieve vector control. The first procedure that should be implemented is start using insecticide treated bed nets. They have found that bed nets that have not been treated still lead to bites that can cause malaria. Holes in the netting allow mosquitoes to get through the netting and this does not work well. The insecticide treated nets keep the mosquitoes out and also have a repellant quality about them. These nets work for long periods of time. They do not have to be replaced or retreated for up to six months at a time and reduce the disease and mortality rates in endemic regions and areas with malaria by 20%.

To achieve high percentages of success with these nets, most if not all members of the community need to use these. Studies have shown that when most of the community use these nets, the number of mosquitoes in a certain community are greatly decreased. When combined with spraying the indoor areas with a residual spray to get rid of any other insects, the percentages go up even higher.

Many malaria vectors stay in homes even after eating a nice blood meal. The CDC has found that using an insecticide spray in homes to get rid of the insects that are hanging around the homes cuts down on the amount of these mosquitoes. They coat all of the walls and other surfaces of the home with a residual insecticide. This insecticide will kill any mosquitoes and any other insect that comes in contact with it for several months after it is sprayed. This process will not keep people from being bitten, it will however kill mosquitoes that land on the surface of the home once they have filled up with blood after a meal, keeping them from biting again. Once again for this process to be highly affective, most of the homes in the community need to be sprayed.

One of the drawbacks to these programs is that some insects become resistant to insecticides that are being used. The researchers must stay informed of what insecticides are effective against the mosquitoes and which are not. There are over 125 species of mosquitoes so this is a daunting task.

Other ways to prevent malaria is to control the amount of larvae that are hatched. Larvae are the eggs that hatch and become mosquitoes. Some ways of doing this are to fill areas that mosquitoes might be laying eggs such as fill in swampy areas that might fill with stagnant water, draining ditches or areas that might have standing water.

There are some natural ways to try to control the mosquito population that do not involve insecticides. There are natural oils and other biological agents that can be applied to areas where larvae and pupae hatch. These can either suffocate the larvae or specifically kill only the mosquitoes without affecting the environment or other animals or insects. There are mosquito fish which can control mosquitoes in large bodies of water and other insects that can be released into the environment that eat mosquitoes which in turn will help control the population. These are all ways of helping to control and prevent malaria in humans.

Last updated on May 26th, 2009 and filed under Other Conditions & Diseases. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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