Malaria Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Malaria is a potentially deadly disease. Mosquito bites transmit the parasite to humans. It is most widespread in tropical and subtropical climates, where parasites survive. Malaria patients typically suffer from high fever and cold symptoms. (Read this article in Bangla:ম্যালেরিয়া জ্বরের লক্ষণ, চিকিৎসা ও প্রতিকার)
Plasmodium parasites are carried by infected mosquitoes. The parasite is absorbed into your blood when this mosquito bites you. While inside your body, the parasites reach maturity throughout your liver. Within a few days, the mature parasites enter the body's circulation and begin infecting red blood cells.
In this article, we have tried to create a guideline on malaria disease. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, treatments, and remedies of this. You can use this guideline as a reference to detect malaria and begin treatment with a doctor.
Malaria is a serious relapsing infection that causes chills and fever, anemia, splenomegaly (spleen enlargement), and often fatal complications in humans. It is caused by Plasmodium parasites, which are single-celled parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes.
Malaria is a major risk to human health worldwide and has a high incidence of illness and death in many developing countries, especially among children under the age of five years. Women who are pregnant also have a higher risk of the disease.
The majority of malaria cases take place in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, but the disease also affects Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.
What are the types of malaria?
Malaria can happen if you are bitten by a mosquito carrying the Plasmodium parasite. Malaria can infect humans through 5 different plasmodium parasites:
- Plasmodium Vivax
- Plasmodium Ovale
- Plasmodium Malariae
- Plasmodium Falciparum
- Plasmodium Knowlesi
Plasmodium falciparum generates a more serious malaria case, and those who contract it are more likely to die. At birth, an infected mother can pass the disease to her baby. This is referred to as congenital malaria.
Symptoms of Malaria
Malaria symptoms usually appear approximately 10 days to 4 weeks after infection. In some cases, Symptoms don't always appear over several months. Some malarial parasites are capable of entering the body but stay hidden for long periods. They can include, in addition to high fever, shaking chills, and sweating:
- Muscle pain
- Severe weakness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Pain in the chest or abdomen
What to do and treat if you have malaria?
Malaria must be treated as early as possible. The most specific way for you and your doctor to know whether you have malaria is to have a lab test in which a drop of blood is examined under a microscope for the existence of malaria parasites. The test should be conducted without delay if you are sick and suspect malaria.
If you have an enlarged spleen or liver, your doctor will be able to tell you. If you have malaria symptoms, your doctor may order too many blood tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests will indicate:
- Whether you are infected with malaria
- What type of malaria do you have
- If your infection is caused by a drug-resistant parasite
- If the illness has resulted in anemia
- If your vital organs have been affected by the disease
Antimalarial medications are used to treat it. Some people are advised by doctors to stay in the hospital for specialized care and treatment. Malaria can reappear and will need to be treated again if this takes place.
Only a doctor can tell you whether you suffer from malaria or not. You should consult an MBBS doctor if you think you have malaria symptoms, particularly if you have traveled to malaria containing area.
If malaria symptoms appear or are suspected, consult a doctor right away. You can get this advice through the video call from home by using the DocTime app. You can communicate with the doctor via video call at any time. Complications can be avoided by following the doctor's advice in the early stages.
How to Prevent Malaria
If you're going to a malaria-infested area, consult a doctor first. It's preferred to do this at least four to six weeks before your journey, but you can get advice at the last minute if needed. You may be given antimalarial medication to reduce your risk of contracting malaria, as well as guidelines on how to avoid mosquito bites.
You can also take the following precautions to prevent malaria:
- Take any antimalarial medication prescribed to you - You should usually begin taking it a few days or weeks before you leave and continue for a few weeks after you return.
- Use insect repellent on your skin and sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
- In the evening, when mosquitoes are most active, wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers to cover your arms and legs.
Is malaria a virus or bacteria?
The Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria is neither a virus nor a bacteria; it is a single-celled parasite that multiplies in both human red blood cells as well as the mosquito intestine.
What is the best treatment for malaria?
Malaria is treated with medicines that kill the parasite. The drugs used and the duration of treatment will differ depending on the type of malaria parasite you have the intensity of your symptoms, your age, and whether you are pregnant.
Artemisinin-based medicines (artemether and artesunate). If available, artemisinin combination therapy is the most effective treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria.
What country is malaria most common in?
Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Oceania such as Papua New Guinea have the highest transmission rates. The transmission will be less intense and more seasonal in cooler regions. Plasmodium Vivax may become more common there because it is more permissive to lower ambient temperatures.
Economic development and public health measures have successfully eradicated malaria in many temperate areas, including Western Europe and the United States. However, most of these areas have Anopheles mosquitos, which can transmit malaria, and the disease's reemergence is a constant risk.