Dr Oluwagbenga Ogunfowokan, a Consultant Family Physician at the National Hospital, Abuja, said in Lagos on Friday that Nigeria had the highest burden of malaria in the world.
Ogunfowokan made the remark at a Health Awareness Programme organised by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that malaria occurred throughout the year in most parts of the country, especially during the rainy season.
``The commonest malaria parasite transmitted in Nigeria is the Plasmodium Falciparum, which is also the deadliest.
``People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills and flu-like illnesses,'' he said.
The physician said that although the disease could be deadly, illnesses and deaths from it could be prevented.
According to him, malaria can be categorised as either uncomplicated or severe complicated.
``For severe malaria, if nothing is done quickly, the person can convulse, due to the damage caused by the parasite to the red blood cells.
``Other symptoms may include, bleeding from the nose, a drop in blood pressure and an enlarged spleen, which may likely lead to death,'' Ogunfowokan said.
He warned that malaria in pregnancy could be very serious, adding that the disease could kill the baby or cause abortion, or may cause the baby to have low birth weight when delivered.
The consultant family physician, therefore, urged Nigerians to ensure that they were not bitten by mosquitoes by sleeping under insecticide-treated nets, avoiding dark places and clearing weeds and other known breeding sites of mosquitoes.
``Those who are at higher risks, such as children under-five and pregnant women, should avoid areas where malaria and mosquitoes are present,'' he said.
He said that the recommended treatment for the disease was now a combination therapy of drugs such as artemisinin and coartem, coarinate, artequin and colart.
Ogunfowokan, however, advised, that since knowledge was power and prevention better than cure, all Nigerians should endeavour to get insecticide-treated nets and begin to use them immediately.
Also speaking, Dr Abdu-Rasaaq Oyesegun, a Consultant Radiologist Oncologist, also of the National Hospital, Abuja, said that sub-Saharan Africa was the only region in the world where more women than men were infected with the HIV virus.
``Women account for 43 per cent of infected people in developing nations and AIDS now ranks as one of the leading death factors among ages 20 to 40 in these countries.
``About 75 per cent of HIV infections were caused by sexual intercourse.
``About 75 per cent of such infections are caused by heterosexual intercourse (sex between a man and a woman), `` he said.
Oyesegun also said that women were far more likely to become infected through heterosexual intercourse than through other means.
``Women are more prone because the virus has an easier time surviving in the vagina and anus than it does on the surface of the penis.
``Young women are especially vulnerable to HIV infection because the cervix is not fully developed and the skin is likely to rip off or tear during intercourse, `` he said.
The doctor, however, said that with active anti-retroviral therapy, mortality from the disease could be reduced.
On cancer, Oyesegun said that the disease could not be totally prevented, but could be reduced through balanced diet and good exercise.
``What we eat and drink contributes to our health and overall wellbeing. So we need to eat balanced diets and exercise regularly to be able to live healthy, `` he stressed.