Malaria in India

While I was writing my last blog post, I was reminded of my trip to India in second grade…

I had been eagerly looking forward to this trip for over 5 months, counting down the day, and running around the house over-flowing with excitement. When the day finally arrived for us to board the plane and go to India, I jumped out of bed at 4 am, putting up none of the usual resistance to waking up early. The entire four hour car ride to Chicago, I asked my parents countless questions about our travel. I really couldn’t wait to see all of my extended family again.

When we arrived in India, we were greeted by my uncle in Bombay. We arrived in the heart of the monsoon season so the next day as we were shopping, I found myself tromping through huge water puddles that reached above my ankles. As an 8 year-old the puddles only appeared as fun to splash in, my mind wasn’t thinking about the ability for the stagnant water to carry and spread diseases. Anyways, we had a great time in Bombay and a week later we went to see my mom’s side of the family, who live in a different state. The first week there was splendid. We caught up with our family and ate our grandma’s wonderful meals. On the fifth day, both my dad and I came down with a fever. For the first few day, our temps were surprisingly the exact same. A few days later, I began to recover, returning to my bouncy-self. My dad, on the other-hand, took a turn for the worse. With a week he was diagnosed with malaria. Luckily my great uncle is a doctor who was able to provide treatment at home. Though my dad had received several different vaccination shots before his arrival, a mosquito in Bombay successfully infected him with malaria.

My dad went through a painful recovery process, experiencing extreme lethargy, difficulty breathing, and chills, among other symptoms. Two weeks later, after postponing our flights multiple times, my dad began getting up and walking around again.

Thanks to current medical technology, and an immediate diagnosis and treatment, my dad didn’t fall into the one of millions who die of this disease annually. Again I remind you to always be cautious when you are traveling!

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