At Fight Malaria, we strive to provide quality and reliable information on malaria. However, malaria is a disease that has a lot of myths, lies and folk-tale surrounding it. This is dangerous and puts travellers and locals at risk of following wrong and unsafe advice. In this article, we will aim to debunk the most frequent misconceptions about malaria, ensuring accurate advice is given to travellers.
I never get bitten by mosquitoes, so I’ll be safe against malaria.
Mosquitos don’t choose who they bite! If you happen to be near an infected mosquito and it’s ready to feed, you’re a vulnerable target.
Remember, it only takes one bite from the right mosquito for you to contract the disease!
Malaria isn’t fatal
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In 2016 alone, there were 445,000 people who died from malaria and even now it is an ongoing crisis.
Of course, not every malaria case will be fatal, but it can, and sadly does cause thousands of deaths worldwide.
Mosquitoes die after feeding
This isn’t true either, female mosquitoes live on after feeding (and infecting) a human. This is one of the many reasons why it is essential to stress the importance of prevention and education.
Once you are infected with malaria, you have it for life
If you become infected with malaria you are no longer allowed to donate blood. However this does not necessarily mean you still have the disease.
While some strains of malaria can remain in your liver, they are usually dormant and once you’ve received enough malarial treatment, you will be rid of malaria.
Mosquitos only bite you in the night
In short, it depends on the mosquito. If you are talking about the Anopheles genus of mosquitoes, which transmit malaria then – yes, they are mostly active during the night.
However, Aedes mosquitos which can carry viruses such as Zika and Dengue are mostly active during the day.
Mosquito extinction would be the best solution
Owing to its high death toll and weight on society, some experts believe that mosquitos should be eradicated altogether. There are several arguments for and against, ultimately it is a case of personal opinion which is why we cannot say! Arguments include:
Malaria can be prevented, and through the distribution of accurate and high quality educational material, progress will be made! So, how can you help?
Well, there are plenty of ways to help just our network, yet alone the whole world! By writing insightful blogs, sharing our resources and spreading the word, you can make an impact!
If you are a malaria researcher, blogger or scientist and would like to submit an article for our blog, we’d love to hear from you! Email any articles you wish to share to: [email protected]
It’s also important to keep in mind that not all mosquitos are a problem. Out of 3,000 species, only 200 will bite humans.
Whilst there are cutting edge techniques for the extinction of mosquitoes including gene coding, doing so would raise a number of ethical issues because several animals depend on mosquitoes for nutrition.