Malaria is transmitted by the bite of an infective female anopheline mosquito. It occurs mainly in the summer and especially during years of good rainfall. Anti-malaria tablets should be taken before going into a potential malaria zone. In areas where malaria has become chloroquine-resistant, alternative drugs should be used. Pregnant women should avoid malarial areas.
Mosquitoes feed from dusk to the early hours of the morning. Camp on heights such as hills where a cool wind blows and where the grass is not very thick, away from standing water and not near densely vegetated areas at pans or rivers. Sleep under a mosquito net and use mosquito repellants. Fire and smoke help, and burning Elephant or cattle dung apparently drives mosquitoes away.
The symptoms appear approximately 12 days after the infective bite. Early symptoms include fever, chills, sweating and headache. Prompt treatment is essential even in mild cases, since irreversible complications may appear suddenly. If the early symptoms are not recognised, the victim may become critically ill with cerebral malaria.