3:18 AM

Deadly Serious

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

This beautiful species of Mosquito is responsible for the topic of my post today; and the reason I haven't been posting...

Her name is Anopheles albimanus and she carries among other few diseases mostly Malaria. This beautiful sounding word that unlike other scary diseases is easy to pronounce and rolls off one's tongue almost Melodiously. Unless you've seen someone suffering from it.

It starts off mellow like the flu with body aches and a fever. Ah just a flu, one would say preparing themselves to feel like crud for a week or so. But what becomes odd is the lack of runny nose, coughing, sneezing one associates with flu or cold. At the same time one notes these missing symptoms one's fever rises dramatically and as it rises a sudden onset of shaking chills sets in for an hour. After a person finally gets rid of the shaking they sweat profusely. If they've been smart enough to get some Paracetamol (Tylenol, panadol) into their system their fever will lessen. Yet suddenly 18-24 hours later the same thing will happen day after painful day.

Now this Malaria normally happens if you have recently traveled to a Malaria Infested Zone (which can be anywhere in the world beside cold places) Here is a Map:

What happens is this amazing Mosquito above bites someone infected with Malaria. She reproduces with this infected blood. Her hundreds of little babies have Malaria in their spit basically. As they puncture another person to drink they spread Malaria to that person. A week later bam flu symptoms and fever with chills.

The protozoa parasite goes through the blood stream to the Liver where she has fun attaching herself to red blood cells. As they are expelled from the liver the reproductive cycle is happening and as the babies mature they explode out from the blood cell (en mass) AND ATTACK EVERY NEARBY RED BLOOD CELL! This is what causes the cycles of fever and shaking when suddenly your immune system has to attack a swarm of exploding baby protozoa Malaria.

In the beginning of November my brother in law was planning to go for a visit back to Beirut, Lebanon to see his family. He stopped by our house to have a long chat about life with his brother (my husband). They sat out in our garden for hours that night. Husband kept telling me to join them but I was tired and was busy trying to get the kids in bed. So they sat and had a merry chat. A few days later we took him to the Airport and he went to Lebanon. A week later my husband started feeling flu-ish. He ignored it and kept working. But slowly he wasn't getting enough sleep and feeling weaker and weaker. Finally we go to Noor Hospital. The doc prescribes him antibiotics and Panadol (Tylenol) after doing a simple blood scan. I spend lots of time and energy ensuring Husband rests and takes his meds on time. I cook a fabulous Chicken Soup just as a good wife should. But it's not enough. The shaking got worse, the fever go worse, the pain became unbearable. We talk to family in Beirut and his brother is suffering the same weird symptoms and odd fevers. To Oasis Hospital! Husband orders. I get the kids ready preparing myself for another long wait and results of more expensive meds to buy. We wait ages like all UAE Clinics to see the doc then finally he goes in while I go to the machine for more snacks to appease the children. I take a walk around to help the kids expend energy then go back to the Clinic. I look around doorways searching for my husband, finally he's in the last room, on an I.V. (!!!) I of course was worried and fussed over him. He was in extreme pain while they drew blood and waited HOURS for the results. The doc had ordered like 15 different tests. At 12AM finally they came back.
"Where have you been traveling to?" Dr. asked me.
"No where. We've been here for 2 years now." I replied confused.
"Where's your husband from?" Dr. nodding and writing as we walk to Husb's room.
"And you?"
"Hmmm. Well then how did he get Malaria?" Dr. asks and enters the room leaving me literally rooted to the floor in the hallway. How indeed!
I enter as Dr. is telling the news to Husband. We are all perplexed by this. Doc asks Husb the same questions but still gets no clues. At first I think it's the workers at my husband's job who could have infected him because they come from everywhere, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India etc...
"Your brother is feeling the same as you though. He must have it too?" I tell the doc and husband. Doctor looks even more confused.
"Has he traveled?" "No." "Where do you work?" "In South Al-Ain." "They work near each other but not close enough for a Mosquito to bite them both." "Where do you live?" "We live near Al-Ain Mall while he lives on the other side of the city." I explain to the doc questions. Finally I go to his office to answer more questions while he writes a report for the Government about a case of Malaria. They take my number so I expect to hear from someone about this. They give my husband Quinine Pills and a few others and tell us come back in 7 days. Well it's been 4 days so far but these 4 days have felt sooo long. No one has contacted us from the govt. I've researched my heart out about everything having to do with mosquitos and Malaria. It's some scary scary stuff believe me. It's says every 30 seconds a child dies from this disease. Sweating and shaking itself to death. Ya Allah. Of course when we got home from the doc we turn on out phone to find a message from my other bro in law in Beirut, saying our Bro has Malaria and we should go the Doctor for diagnosis. Which was funny because that's the same message I was about to send him. A few days later Bro in law said to us that he's not coming back to UAE. The family wants us to say the same. So now we are in a quandary as to what we should do. Was this an isolated incidence where two brothers got bit at the same time in our garden? Or is it the beginning of a mass outbreak here in Al-Ain? After all it says this female Mosquito can lay up to 3000 eggs in her short lifetime. That's 3000 mosquitoes carrying Malaria searching for victims....
Now many of you are sleeping in your warm beds at night lazily swatting a random buzzing in your ear hoping you hit it. Not me, not anymore. My house is armed to the teeth.
We went out immediately and bought Insecticide Spray for Mosquitoes and fumigated our house while we stayed safely in the car. After ventilating the house we also got small burners called Vape and my wonderful friend gave us a Buzzing Electric Light to Fry the bugs if they try to get near us. We sealed every entrance to our house tightly and sprayed it for good measure.
Now we are sitting cooped up in our house wondering if it is safe to go out. My garden where the alleged crime happened is a off limits place for now. Though my neighbors (whom I warned) continue to sit out and have BBQs and let their daughter frolic, haven't seemed to have any problems. Tomorrow we are going back to the doctors to question more about if this is isolated or not. I don't think I can live like this always on edge always feeling cooped up in a semi-quarantine state to prevent myself and my precious children from catching Malaria. I want to run away fast to Canada or some freezing northern European country where the Mosquitoes are not going to. I've lived my life oblivious to major infectious diseases thanks to Allah for letting me be born in a cleaner country than others, but now the veils have been lifted and my eyes are wide open to the risk. If anyone out there knows anything about malaria and UAE let me know. So far I found that UAE is supposed to be a Malaria-Free Zone (HAHAHA yeah right) but if so how did this happen then?!?! And if anyone knows how I can move swiftly to Canada or Northern Europe I'd be grateful the advice. I want you all out there to take the steps to protect your families because these diseases are everywhere and with the rate of people shifting around the world these days no where is 100% safe. Malaria can be Deadly Serious!

18 intelligent thoughts:

Nicole said...

May Allah heal your husband inshAllah. I would have thought that there could be Malaria there because of some swampy conditions in certain areas. Allahu alim. Anything is possible. I wouldn't leave UAE because of that, but pray istikhara and inshAllah it will be clear to you.

Habayeb said...

Or is it the beginning of a mass outbreak here in Al-Ain?


Thanks for all the info dear...have to be careful insha'allah. May Allah cure your husband and his brother soon insha'allah.

always in the kitchen said...

Glad you caught it in time.How scary!Stuff happens,but God is still in control.It'll be O.K.Peace

Habayeb said...

Btw dear, a hadith that came to my mind...

Narrated Usama bin Zaid: Allah's Apostle said, "Plague was a means of torture sent on a group of Israelis (or on some people before you). So if you hear of its spread in a land, don't approach it, and if a plague should appear in a land where you are present, then don't leave that land in order to run away from it (i.e. plague)."

Narrated 'Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) I asked Allah's Apostle about the plague. He told me that it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom he wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah's Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr."

Susanne said...

I am so sorry about your husband and BIL. My uncle got malaria when he lived in Africa. Awful stuff. I hope you can conquer your fear and everyone will be well soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow! May Allah keep you all safe. When I was in Tarim in Yemen, i was terrified of scorpions, I took comfort in reciting the wird al latif, I don't know if you know it, but i wrote about it on my yemen blog.

It is a collection of surahs and du'a that ask Allah for protection, and he will give it to those who recite them.


S. E. Jihad Levine "Sister Safiyyah" said...

@ Habayeb:

What is the exact source/reference for the hadith you quoted? "Israelis" were around during the time of the Prophet (saw)?

hado said...

salam sis.iwas waiting impatiently for this blog and here it is.lil bit late but u know school.i don't have the words to explain,because i have Tons of things to tell u.
inshallah we'll talk...may Allah give us patience and cure our brothers...amin

American Muslima Writer said...

Salam Nicole, Thanks for your kind words, yes there are spots that trigger outbreaks especially in Al-Ain with higher influx of lower class workers from infected areas and witht he artificially grown plants not native to this country it is a breeding ground sometimes.

Heb: thanks habibi, insha'Allah Dubai is not having as much problem as Al-Ain. But still take precautions.

American Muslima Writer said...

Thanks Always In the Kitchen, yes subhanAllah it's always the WILL OF Allah which guides everything so we must take the good and the bad evenly.

Heb: SubhanAllah jsut what my husband and I needed to hear in this odd time. These Hadith made my heart calm more than anything but like Saf says can you provide the source of these hadith so we know if they are strong or weak? Like From Bukhari or Muslim or such insha'Allah.

American Muslima Writer said...

Susanne, thanks for your kindness insha'Allah your Uncle is still doing ok, I bet that was no skip in the safari for him.

Saha (Anon), SubhanAllah Scorpians ugh, I'll check it out thanks for the link.

Saf: Thanks as always for asking what needs to be asked. XOXO

American Muslima Writer said...

Hado Habibati,
Ya Allah I wish things weren't so crazy with the guys and their Malaria so we have more time to chat. Tons of things eh? Man that sounds juicy...can't wait... ;)
Insha'Allah all is well in Beirut and no one is catching it from our Bro there.
LOL yeah it took a whiel to get time to post this but fianlly I stayed up all night one night to get it typed out.. all that previous research came in handy ;) By the way I hope you showed our Ill bro all this in case he didn't know it before.
XOXOXO always Hado

Susanne said...

Ha, safari for him. He was living there. ;-) I just remember a few times when he got malaria and how sick he was. I hope your husband is better now .. is he?

American Muslima Writer said...

Susanne: ah I see. Aww he got it few times ugh I pray Hubby or anyone else gets it more than once... once is bad enough.
he's getting there I will update soon :) Thanks for yours and everyone's support!

iMuslimah said...

Assalamu alaykum sister,

Do you know what species of malarial parasite your husband had? Alhamdulillah he was diagnosed and treated.

Once in a rare while, Malaria pops up in the USA, usually during the summer months. Sometimes its someone who has traveled to an endemic region, and sometimes it occurs in someone who has never left town! Part of my job as a lab technologist is to check blood smears for abnormal red blood cells and white blood cells, and once in a verry rare while, I will find malaria or babesia.

For now, try to be calm, and talk to a doctor first beofre doing anything.

I suppose if a mosquito bites a malaria victim, and then continues to bite others, thats how hubby could have got it. its not something you get directly from another person

inshaallah you will all be ok.

Good to hear from you again,


Habayeb said...

sowieeeeeeeeee for not including the source!

1st Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 679.

2nd Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 680

And the prophet (saW) is talking about a group of people *before*.

Erica Aisha (@)الغروبسلمي said...

Assallam Alaikum,

Wow, crazy business... I just did a microbiology report on malaria AND I'll be in Al-Ain (God willing)in 2 weeks. Knowing the type could give you a hint as to wear the specific form of malaria came from. There are 4 known types.
People can't get it from one another, and mosquitoes do not pass malaria to offspring. Mosquitoes are the vector that bites an infected person and spreads it to another.
Alhamdulillah your husband is recovering. Allaho Alim. Youe husband is blessed to have his wife there to care for him while he's sick.

erica aisha

Susie of Arabia said...

How frightening! I do hope your hubby and BIL are back in good health very soon. You and your family are in my prayers and thoughts.

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