Malaria: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Review by Dr Hasan Feroz, MD

Malaria can be a fatal disease caused by the mosquito bite named Anopheles mosquito. The infected mosquito carries the plasmodium parasite and during the sucking blood for human, the parasite enters in the bloodstream and cause severe illness.

The disease is found in places where the stationery water is found and where the rainy season is common. Currently, no vaccine is available to shield human beings from this deadly disease.

Due to malaria disease, millions of people die annually in the world especially in Africa, Asia, and china. Usually, malaria does not occur in cold places like Russia, Canada, and other parts of cold places but very nominal cases are found.

Symptoms of Malaria

The symptoms of malaria include:

Nausea

Chills and fever

Headache

Vomiting

Cough

Fast heartbeat

Severe pain in muscles and joints

Some people may face the cycles of malaria attack like starting from shivering and they get fever and pain in the body and after that, they sweating and then normal.

Malaria signs and symptoms begin after the bite of an infected mosquito usually 3-5 days and in some cases, it appears in weeks.

Causes of Malaria

Malaria occurs when a mosquito infected with the Plasmodium parasite bites you. Four types of malaria parasites can infect humans: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae, and Plasmodium falciparum.

When the female infected host bites the human, the parasite lies dormant in our liver for at least 10 days but multiplies during that time and after that, the symptoms of malaria appear.

After that our liver starts sending the parasites by the bloodstream and the parasite start breaking the red blood cells resulted in high fever and shivering.

Diagnosis of Malaria

Based on your recent history and your symptoms your doctor will be able to diagnose malaria. He may ask you about your recent traveling history of tropical countries and he may ask to go for a malaria test. Your doctor may also check your liver and spleen if it is enlarged it may be the possible symptoms of malaria.

Nowadays microscopic laboratory tests and malaria detection kits are easily available to detect malaria. The detection of malaria is quite simple and easy nowadays.

Treatment of Malaria

Malaria may be life-threatening if it is infected by P falciparum parasites. Other viruses are not so much fatal as this one. Annually millions of death cases were reported by malaria and the countries are Asian, Africans mostly.

The treatment of malaria depends on the basis and severity of the disease. The medicine used to treat malaria is chloroquine phosphate.

The new drug was introduced to treat malaria named artemether and lumefantrine which is quite helpful in treating patients with suffering from severe malaria.

The use of papaya leaf and fruit is being used to maintain the optimum platelet levels in the blood as in malaria platelet levels decrease drastically. Some people suggest having the milk of goat to maintain the platelet levels. It also works.

Prevention from Malaria

It is very easy to prevent yourself from malaria. Malaria is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. If we prevent our self from mosquito we can save ourself from getting an infection of malaria. Few steps can help us to prevent malaria.

Always use a mosquito net at night while sleeping.

Always check your open pots coolers and other rugs that store the rainwater.

Do not use Odomas or mosquito repellents as these are not much effective.

Avoid visiting such countries that have a tropical season like rains, summer, and humidity which is ambient for mosquitoes to grow.

Wear full sleeves clothes at night.

In the regions where the mosquitoes are in ample quantity, all the doors and windows must have a net that helps prevent the mosquito in the house.

Sprinkle the DDT in the corners of the house timely at regular intervals.

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