Malaria, causes, symptoms and treatment

WHAT IS MALARIA?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease. It’s typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream.

Once the parasites are inside your body, they travel to the liver, where they mature. After several days, the mature parasites enter the bloodstream and begin to infect red blood cells.

Within 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply, causing the infected cells to burst open.

The parasites continue to infect red blood cells, resulting in symptoms that occur in cycles that last two to three days at a time

CAUSES OF MALARIA

Malaria can occur if a mosquito infected with the Plasmodium parasite bites you. There are four kinds of malaria parasites that can infect humans: Plasmodium vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. falciparum.

P. falciparum causes a more severe form of the disease and those who contract this form of malaria have a higher risk of death. An infected mother can also pass the disease to her baby at birth. This is known as congenital malaria.

Malaria is transmitted by blood, so it can also be transmitted through:

  • An organ transplant
  • A transfusion
  • Use of shared needles or syringes
  • What are the symptoms of malaria?

    The symptoms of malaria typically develop within 10 days to 4 weeks following the infection. In some cases, symptoms may not develop for several months. Some malarial parasites can enter the body but will be dormant for long periods of time.

    Common symptoms of malaria include:

  • Shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe
  • High fever
  • Profuse sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Muscle pain
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Bloody stools
  • Life-threatening complications of malaria

    Malaria can cause a number of life-threatening complications. The following may occur:

  • Swelling of the blood vessels of the brain, or cerebral malaria
  • An accumulation of fluid in the lungs that causes breathing problems, or pulmonary edema
  • Organ failure of the kidneys, liver, or spleen
  • Anemia due to the destruction of red blood cells
  • Low blood sugar
  • HOW IS MALARIA TREATED

    Malaria can be a life-threatening condition, especially if you’re infected with the parasite P. falciparum. Treatment for the disease is typically provided in a hospital. Your doctor will prescribe medications based on the type of parasite that you have.

    In some instances, the medication prescribed may not clear the infection because of parasite resistance to drugs. If this occurs, your doctor may need to use more than one medication or change medications altogether to treat your condition.

    Additionally, certain types of malaria parasites, such as P. vivax and P. ovale, have liver stages where the parasite can live in your body for an extended period of time and reactivate at a later date causing a relapse of the infection.

    If you’re found to have one of these types of malaria parasites, you’ll be given a second medication to prevent a relapse in the future.

    TIPS TO PREVENT MALARIA

    There’s no vaccine available to prevent malaria. Talk to your doctor if you’re traveling to an area where malaria is common or if you live in such an area. You may be prescribed medications to prevent the disease.

    These medications are the same as those used to treat the disease and should be taken before, during, and after your trip.

    Talk to your doctor about long-term prevention if you live in an area where malaria is common. Sleeping under a mosquito net may help prevent being bitten by an infected mosquito.

    About Nursefaith 44 Articles
    Hello____ my name is faith,and a nurse by profession loves taking care of people especially your health. I am here whenever you need me,for everyday care or life-changing care,you can count on me to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

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