Does Stress Cause Malaria
The geographical location of Nigeria makes it very susceptible to malaria outbreaks and it’s present in the country all-year round. In this part of the world, malaria has become endemic and quite seen as the ‘norm’ - like a friend that visits often. Also rampant is different myths and tales and opinions as to what causes malaria and what not.
Many people believe stress causes malaria. Some say it’s because of staying up too late. Some people even go as far as saying spending too much time in the sun can trigger a malaria attack.
What is true and what is false?
Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. These parasites are carried by Female Anopheles mosquitoes who spread it from people to people. In simple terms, if the mosquito takes a blood meal from an infected person, this mosquito can pass it on the parasite when it bites a previously uninfected person.
It is only through this process that malaria occurs.
What part does stress play?
After being infected, your immune system would try its best to fight this disease. When your body is subjected to stress, it weakens the ability of your immune system to fight and leads to a complete breakdown.
Also, people under severe stress might have similar symptoms with those infected with the malaria parasite, such as tiredness, feeling unwell and lack of appetite. This doesn’t mean the person has malaria, it just means the person needs to destress.
A laboratory test is usually advised when certain malaria-like symptoms occur because these symptoms might be indicative of other diseases like typhoid, babesiosis, Lyme disease, dengue fever and even pneumonia.
Do not self medicate when you get symptoms. Check with your doctor, run the necessary tests to confirm and follow the medications prescribed dutifully.
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