What is Malaria? Its Cause and Treatment
What is Malaria
Malaria is a disease of chills and fever with recurring attacks. It is caused by biting Anopheles mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes bites to feed the blood of mammals or birds for the maturation of their eggs. Word malaria is derived from two Italian words “mala” means bad and “aria” means air. Earlier it was thought that the stagnant water of marshes poisoned the air and as a result of breathing in this “bad air”, people got malaria.
Cause and Treatment of Malaria
In 1878, a French army physician Laveran took a small amount of blood from a malarial patient and examined it under microscope. He noticed some tiny living creatures. These were given the name of plasmodium. So, it was concluded that malaria is caused by plasmodium which is transferred in blood by biting Anopheles mosquito. The bark of quina-quina or Cinchona plant contains QUININE that is effective in treating malaria.
Observations of A. F. A. King in case of malaria
• People who slept outdoors have more chances to get malaria.
- People who slept under fine nets have less chance to get malaria.
- People who slept near a smoky fire usually did not get malaria.
Hypothesis: “Mosquitoes transmit Plasmodium and so are involved in the spread of malaria.”
Deductions: If mosquitoes are involved in the spread of malaria then;
1- “Plasmodium should be present in mosquitoes.”
2- “A mosquito can get Plasmodium by biting a malarial patient.”
Experiments of Ronald Ross in Malaria case
- He allowed a female Anopheles mosquito to bite a malarial patient. He killed the mosquito some after days and found Plasmodium multiplying in mosquito’s stomach.
- He allowed some infected mosquitoes to bite healthy sparrows. Mosquitoes transferred plasmodium in sparrow’s body by their saliva and Sparrows got malaria.