A new study suggests malaria may have killed more people than usual in Guinea during the Ebola outbreak, according to the Associated Press.

Health workers believe many people with malaria were afraid of catching Ebola at a medical facility or being mistakenly sent to an Ebola clinic given that the early symptoms are similar to Ebola, the AP said. The study concluded that there were about 74,000 probable malaria cases that went untreated.

Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about malaria, how prevalent it is and what can be done to prevent it.

Q: What is malaria and can it be deadly?

A: “Malaria is an infection caused by a parasite transmitted to humans via a mosquito bite. Severe cases can be deadly.”

Q: What are the symptoms of malaria?

A: “Symptoms of malaria can include fever, chills, sweats, diarrhea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin, and body aches. In more severe cases, confusion, hallucinations and seizures can occur.”

Q: Where is malaria prevalent?

A: “Malaria is prevalent in parts of Africa, Asia, India, Pakistan, the South Pacific, as well as Central and South America.”

Q: What can be done to prevent getting malaria?

A: “Preventative medications can be taken before, during and after travel to areas where malaria is common. One can avoid mosquito bites by staying in at night, wearing proper clothing, using appropriate insect repellant, and sleeping in areas with proper screens or covers.”

Q: What treatment is available for malaria?

A: “Medications can be given by mouth or an IV. These medications can cause dizziness, blurred vision and stomach upset. Supportive measures, such as hydration, are also used for treating malaria.”

Dr. Chad Jumper is a family practice physician at Boiling Springs Family Medicine and is board certified in family medicine. He attended Penn State and completed his residency at Reading Hospital and Medical Center. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Association of Family Practice. Check Boiling Springs Family Medicine on Twitter @DrChadJumper and on Facebook. This information is intended for educational purposes. Please consult your health care provider for advice about treatments that may affect your individual health.

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