What is Malaria? Is it a Communicable Disease?

What is Malaria? Is it a Communicable Disease?

Today we are here to have a discussion on “Malaria – One of the Most Common Communicable Disease in Developing Countries“.

The word “Malaria” is derived from “Mal” which means Bad and “Aria” which means Air, thus Malaria is a Bad Air.

Malaria is transmitted through the bites of Infected Female Anopheles Mosquitoes. Thus Malaria is a Mosquito-Borne Communicable Disease. As Malaria threatens Life in some cases, it comes under Life-Threatening Disease.

Ronald Ross was the first who discovered the transmission of Malaria by Mosquitoes in the year of 1897 while he was working in India (Secunderabad, A.P).

The main protozoan parasite responsible for Malaria belongs to “Plasmodium” species. This Plasmodium parasites are injected into Human Body through bites of mosquitoes while they suck the blood. There are 100 of Plasmodium variants, however only 5 among them affects the human body and causes Malaria.

The 5 variants of Plasmodium protozoan parasites which causes Malaria in Humans are as follows:

  • Plasmodium Falciparum
  • Plasmodium Vivax
  • Plasmodium Ovale
  • Plasmodium Malariae
  • Plasmodium Knowlesi

Among the 5, only Plasmodium Falciparum causes severe Malarial Infection and even sometimes leads to Death of the Patient. This species is common in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Malaria Distribution Across Globe

Plasmodium Vivax is the second top variant of Plasmodium which affects the human body and leads to Malaria. This species is common in South-East Asia and Latin America. Plasmodium Ovale and Plasmodium Malariae contributes low percentage of Malarial Infection.

Plasmodium Knowlesi is the latest known variant which primarily affects Primates and causes Malaria in them and then it transmitted to Human leading to Malarial Infection in Humans. Thus this parasite comes under Zoonotic category.

The States of India where Malarial Distribution and Recurrence is more includes Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

Is Malaria a Communicable Disease?

The answer is Yes. A disease is said to be communicable when it get transmissible from person to person by direct contact with affected individual or the  individual’s discharges or by indirect means (by a vector such as mosquitoes).

Malaria get spreads through mosquitoes thus it comes under the category of Communicable Disease.

In our next article, we will read about “How Malaria Spreads and Affects the Human Body?

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