Myth 1: While traveling, mosquitoes won’t bite if we stay in good air-conditioned hotels.
Facts: A good-rated Hygenic air-conditioned hotel decreases the chance of getting infected with malaria. However, if the hotel’s surroundings are not clean and contain garbage dumps or stagnant water, malaria increases.

Also, if you are traveling to an endemic malaria region, staying in good air-conditioned hotels does not rule out the chance of getting malaria. Thus, travelers should apply mosquito repellent cream and carry mosquito nets to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Myth 2: Malaria disease is not life-threatening
Facts: Malaria disease can be life-threatening or fatal if not diagnosed and treated on time. According to WHO, each year, more than four lakh people die of malaria infection, out of which two-thirds of death are of children under the age of five. However, the mortality rate of malaria has decreased gradually over the period from 2000-2019. Thanks to awareness campaigns, early diagnosis, and enhancement in medical & pharmaceutical sciences.

If not diagnosed or treated on time, malaria can lead to multiple complications like cerebral malaria, difficulty breathing, anemia, low blood sugar levels, dehydration, jaundice, swelling and rupture of the spleen, hypotension, and death.

Suppose a person visiting a malaria-endemic area or living in it experiences symptoms like Chills, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, severe headache, and myalgia. In that case, they must see a physician immediately and diagnose malaria.

Myth 3: Once a person gets infected with malaria, it remains in the body of the patient for life long
Facts: The advancement of medical and pharmaceutical sciences has developed safe and efficient medications to treat malaria caused by different malaria parasite species. Malaria caused by the P. falciparum and P. vivax types are the most dangerous type but can be treated. Malaria caused by P. vivax and P.ovale can live for a longer time in the body, but still, with the help of medical science, we can eradicate them.

Myth 4: Once a person gets infected with malaria, they will not get infected with malaria again in their life, i.e., they will be immune to the disease.
Facts: No, this is a myth which many people have. Scientists have found that the humans living in the dengue-endemic region have developed immunity to a certain extent against malaria but gradually lose the immunity when they move to areas less infected with malaria. In other words, people should always take preventive actions to be safe from getting bitten by mosquitoes. Malaria can happen to people more than once in their lifetime.

Myth 5: If you take an antimalarial tablet before traveling, then you will not get malaria.
Facts: No, this is a myth. There are no antiviral medications that are 100% effective in preventing malaria infection. People taking antimalarial drugs still have a 10-15% chance of getting infected with malaria. It becomes difficult to diagnose malaria in the blood during such conditions, and the symptoms will be negative. This may cause a delay in the diagnosis and management of malaria. Thus always consult your physician before taking any antimalarial drugs.

Myth 6: Mosquitoes only bite at night
Facts: No, this is not true. Dengue mosquitoes bite aggressively during the early morning ( up to two hours after sunrise) and dusk. Malaria mosquitoes that bite at night are the female Anopheles mosquito. Another mosquito that bites during nighttime is the Culex mosquito. This mosquito bite leads to lymphatic Filariasis, also known as elephantiasis.

Along with this, one must remember that the female anopheles mosquito that causes malaria does not make any noise. Thus, one should not drop preventive measures thinking that the area is not having any malaria-causing mosquitoes just because they could not hear any humming noise of mosquitoes.

Myth 7: Only Women and children are vulnerable to the mosquito bite
Facts: Mosquitoes can bite people of any age, but children below five and pregnant women are highly likely to get malaria. Gambia researchers have found in their study that pregnant women are twice at risk of getting bitten by a mosquito than non-pregnant women. The researchers have given two possible explanations for such preference by mosquitoes.

Pregnant women exhale carbon dioxide, which is thought to be the first explanation for the attraction of malaria mosquitoes. Pregnant women in their third trimester exhale 21% more than non-pregnant women.

The second reason is the belly of a pregnant woman is 0.70C warmer than non-pregnant women. Again, this could be a reason to attract mosquitoes.

Myth 8: Rainy season is the only season when people get infected with malaria
Facts: We know that mosquitoes breed during the rainy season when diseases related to mosquito bites increase. However, the rainy season is not the only season when a person can get infected with malaria. Mosquitoes like a warm climate, and thus the risk of getting infected with malaria remains high during warm weather.

Myth 9: Antimalarial drugs have a lot of side effects. Thus, one should not take antimalarial medications during malaria.
Facts: Antimalarial drugs help in treating malaria efficiently. Every drug has some or other side effects. Drugs for any disease are approved by regulatory authorities only after the drug shows safety and efficacy during clinical trials. Drugs are approved when their benefit outweighs the risk. Medications taken in the correct dose as guided by the physician show their therapeutic potential. Overdose of any drug may lead to serious adverse events. Also, many drugs react with other medicines that the patient is already taking for pre-existing disease. Thus, people having malaria should take antimalarial drugs as advised by a physician.

Myth 10: Malaria and Dengue Fever are the same
Facts: No, Malaria and Dengue are not the same. Though both the disease are mosquito-borne diseases, yet there are many differences between the two diseases.

Based OnDengueMalaria
Type of diseaseDengue is a viral infection.Malaria is a parasitic infection.
TransmissionDengue transmits when a female Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with the dengue virus bites a healthy person.Malaria spreads by biting female Anopheles mosquitoes belonging to any four types: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.
Incubation period4-10 days after an infected mosquito bites a healthy person.7-30 days. The shorter incubation period is associated with Plasmodium falciparum, whereas the more extended incubation period is associated with P.malariae.
  • Swollen gland
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Joint and Muscle pain
  • Severe headache
  • The vomit, stool, or urine may contain blood
  • Rashes on skin two to five days after infection
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Minor hemorrhagic manifestations like purpura, epistaxis, bleeding gums, hematuria.
  • A positive result of the tourniquet test.
  • Chills and fever
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Discomfort
  • Cough
  • Severe Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate


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  6. Malaria vs. Dengue: How Are They Different? Accessed at