Malaria – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite. Infected mosquitoes spread it. Malaria is very common throughout the world. In the United States, the main risk is to persons traveling to tropical and subtropical countries where malaria is a problem. There are four different types of malaria caused by four related parasites. The most deadly type occurs in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. The symptoms characteristic of malaria include fever, chills, muscle aches, and headache. Cycles of chills, fever, and sweating that recur every 1, 2 or 3 days are typical. There can sometimes be vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing and yellowing (jaundice) of the skin and whites of the eyes. The treatment for malaria depends upon the geographic area where a person has been infected with the disease. Different areas of the world have malaria types that are resistant to certain medications.

Malaria is a disease which can be transmitted to people of all ages. It is caused by parasites of the species Plasmodium that are spread from person to person through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Malaria is a parasitic disease that involves infection of the red blood cells. Of the four types of malaria, the most serious type is falciparum malaria, which can be life-threatening. The other three types of malaria (vivax, malariae, and ovale) are generally less serious and are not life-threatening. The scientific name of the particular type of mosquito is Anopheles. An infected Anopheles mosquito bites a person and injects the malaria parasites into the blood. The malaria parasites then travel through the bloodstream to the liver and eventually infect the red blood cells.

Causes of Malaria

1. Malaria is usually caused by a mosquito bite and the parasite microbe is passed from the mosquito to the blood through a sharp hypoderme needle like sting. Risk factors include traveling in areas in which such mosquitoes are found or, rarely, being bitten by a mosquito that has previously fed on an “imported” case of malaria (such that the case can occur in an area of the world where malaria is not endemic).

2. Transmitted by transfusion of infected blood.

Symptoms of Malaria

1. Sequential chills, fever, and sweating.

2. Jaundice.

3. Stools, bloody.

4. Muscle pain.

5. Anemia.

6. Headache.

7. Nausea and vomiting.

Treatment of Malaria

Prevention of malaria what is practiced in epidemic areas is by spraying insecticides like DDT. Many new drugs are available for malaria, however most of the drugs are derived from Quinine derivatives. Malaria often requires treatment with medicine (antimalarial medications). Most of the time antimalarial medications effectively treat the infection; however, some malaria parasites may survive because they are in the liver or are resistant to the medication .