Malaria refers to the mosquito-borne disease that can transmit to humans and can turn dreadful in extreme cases. The Anopheles mosquito is responsible for the transmission of this disease!
There are parasites in mosquitos that are responsible for the spread of Malaria, and they belong to the family of the Plasmodium genus. Do you know the science behind the spread of malarial infections? How to find that your Malaria triggered you? What are the symptoms, causes, and diagnosis to cure it? All this and much more information awaits you in the write-up below.
What is Malaria?
Over 100 distinct varieties of Plasmodium parasites are responsible for spreading the malarial infection to the various species. And this variety of parasites replicate the intensity of the diseases and their effects or repercussions on individuals. Escalation of various symptoms signifies the severity of Malaria that is striking you.
Around 5 kinds of plasmodium parasites can lead to infection in humans. And these exist in various parts of the world. If the infection of Malaria is severe, you are prone to suffer through more symptoms. When the infected mosquito gives a bite to any human, the parasite can infect them and result in the destruction of red blood cells. And these parasites multiply, leading to the severity of disease that attacks the human body.
However, early detection and diagnosis can prove helpful in the treatment of this disease. Few countries lack sufficient resources to trace the malarial parasite at early stages. It results in making this disease all the more dreadful and might also prove fatal in some cases.
Scientists from all over the world are trying to find the vaccination to prevent this infection, but there is still no proven result. Although there have been several advances in the treatment process for this disease, it facilitates early treatment. But there are no advance prevention measures available for the same.
Is Malaria a dangerous disease?
Malaria can be a life-threatening disease if you do not take care of it in the early stages. When an infected Anopheles mosquito bites any human, the infection enters the human blood through their bloodstream. Later on, these parasites start dwelling in the body and travel slowly to the liver after getting matured. Such parasites can have drastic effects on your red blood cells. In 48 to 72 hours, these parasites in your RBC start multiplying and lead to this disease’s severity.
After you get infected with this disease, within 2 to 3 days; you can start observing the symptoms that might last until the parasites collapse or get treated. The intensity of Malaria is higher in the regions where the climate is either tropical or subtropical. Under such climatic conditions, these malaria parasites can live for a longer time.
The trusted sources from the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the average count of malaria cases in 2016 is 216 million and persistent in over 91 countries.
Malaria can be dangerous as its diagnosis and life span of parasites take quite a lot of time. 4 dreadful malarial parasites are P. ovale, P. malaria, Plasmodium vivax, and falciparum. P. falciparum is a hideous parasite and even lead to death in those who are at a higher risk. A pregnant mother can pass on this disease to the baby who is due for birth. It is known as congenital Malaria.
Other ways through which malaria transmission can be possible are as follows:
- Blood transfusion
- Transplant of organ
- Using shared syringe or needles
Common symptoms of Malaria
Malaria is also a chronic viral fever and flu that spreads badly if not taken proper care of. A keen view of the symptoms of Malaria can help you to avoid reaching its latter stages. If you are going through Malaria, there are specific indications that you might receive quite early. Doctors and experts divide Malaria depending on their symptoms into two categories: initial or advanced Malaria.
Symptoms of initial and uncomplicated Malaria are as follows:
Any doctor or a medical expert can diagnose the symptoms of Malaria only after receiving significant indications through its symptoms. If there is a severe level of dysfunction or symptoms, your medical expert might suggest immediate hospital attention. Ignoring this disease’s initial signs might also lead to dysfunction in your vital organs at a later stage.
For the people having low or weak immunity, even the initial symptoms might turn hazardous.
You can notice the symptoms of initial Malaria recurring every other day and lasts for around 6 to 10 hours. If the parasite strains are strong enough, this cycle can also last for a more extended period. As all the symptoms of this disease resemble those of the flu, there are high chances of these symptoms staying misdiagnosed in specific areas where this disease is not common.
Following are the symptoms of Malaria, which is at the initial stage:
- Feeling very cold followed by mild chills
- Body weakness
- Headaches and fever
- Occasional or regular vomiting
- Seizures might occur in people of young age group
- Sweat sessions after chills settle down
- Feely low and tired when the body gets back to normal temperature
In certain areas where the influence of Malaria is not very strong, people consider it as a regular disease and try to treat it by themselves.
Symptoms for severe Malaria
If you have been trying to take medications, but still there is no improvement, the next step is to go for a blood test. The clinical trial of Malaria gives evidence on the severity of this disease by determining the amounts in which the parasites are present in your blood. In some cases, the severity can also give you the hint about vital organ dysfunction. Doctors usually suggest the patients with such severe symptoms better stay under strict hospital supervision. Injections and saline technique works in this type of scenario for prompt treatment.
Following are the symptoms of severe Malaria that you must not miss:
• High-grade fever and shivering
• Getting multiple convulsions
• Impaired consciousness
• Respiratory disorders
• Breathing issues
• Prominent signs of anemia
• Unknown and abnormal bleeding
• Organ dysfunction
• Clinical jaundice
• Severe fatigue and vomiting
This type of Malaria that reaches a latter stage might also prove fatal if you make any delays in providing the right treatment.
Treatment for Malaria
After studying the symptoms of Malaria in detail, the next step should be to get an idea about its treatment. The main aim behind its treatment is the elimination of the plasmodium parasite from your bloodstream. Asymptomatic Malaria can also get treatment by the doctors to restrict the transmission of this disease. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), (ACT) Artemisinin-based combination therapy can be the right treatment line for the initial stages of Malaria.
Artemisinin extracts from the Artemisia annua plant is an excellent option to treat Malaria as their infusion decreases the level of plasmodium parasites from the bloodstream. Most practitioners include the ACT as their partner drug. It can drastically reduce the number of parasites with the initial 3 days of infection.
This treatment gained worldwide importance and recognition to decrease the impact of Malaria and its effects as well. Even the WHO suggests that artemisinin is the most suitable drug to treat this disease in the early stages.
Prevention to Malaria
If you desire to keep the malaria infection at bay, a few techniques can help you out.
- Vaccination– Global research on available vaccines for Malaria is going on to prevent the effects of this disease. And the rigorous efforts to cure this disease are already on-the-go in Europe and the U.S. However, there is no legit vaccine available yet.
- Get regular body check-ups– Another way to reduce the chances of getting trapped by this disease is to keep track of your health. Frequent doctor visits can give you an idea of what’s going on in your body, and this can help you prevent the severe results of the same.
Did you know?
Prevention advise for the travelers
- As Malaria is prone to human transmission, it is vital to refrain from getting contaminated.
- If you often keep traveling, then there are probabilities that you are already at high risk.
- The advisory by the CDC (Centers for disease control) indicates that travelers should confirm whether the country they are visiting is prone to Malaria or not.
- Carry the preventive medications if you are going to the infection-prone region.
- Keep a kit of antimalarial drugs at home to avoid any hefty expenses in the purchase of counterfeit medicines abroad.
- If you are a traveler and carrying children, pregnant women, or older people along with you; it is advisable to stay alert even if the symptoms are very mild.
- While visiting areas that are more prone to Malaria consider carrying mosquito nets along.
- Keep handy access to preventive tools like insecticides, pre-treated beds of the net, insect repellants, and the right clothing type.
In situations where this disease is spreading at high speed, local authorities can carry out a fogging activity that refers to spraying pesticides or household sprays. WHO states that such pesticides are quite potent in destroying the killing of mosquitoes.
Travelers must adopt all the above measures to prevent mosquito bites and stay safe from malaria infection. Common cautions include stays in an air-conditioned room, no camping near stored waters, and wearing a sufficient amount of clothes. After the return, travelers might have few traces of Malaria and therefore avoid blood donation for some time.
What are the common causes of Malaria?
Malaria occurs when the female Anopheles mosquito bites you and spreads infection through Plasmodium. Remember, it is the only mosquito type that could spread Malaria. And the spread of this parasite is also dependent on multiple factors like ambient temperatures and humidity. Once the mosquito bites the human host, the parasite enters the bloodstream and stays in your liver. The infected human host might not trigger any significant symptom until 10.5 days, but after that, the parasite would start its multiplication.
Slowly, the liver starts producing the new malaria parasites, and the malaria cells start increasing in multiplication. If the infection is mild, there are lesser chances of these parasites circulating in your liver. Then, the chances of getting back this infection also reduce variably.
What is the diagnosis for getting recovery from Malaria?
Early and timely diagnosis is essential to ensure a complete recovery from Malaria. Even if you show early signs of this disease, it is advisable to get an immediate lab test for confirmation. You can get the treatment in a concise period as well. The WHO promotes and recommends the authentication of this disease with proper microscopic laboratory testing. Even the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) test can prove helpful for this purpose.
Any combination of symptoms cannot differentiate Malaria, and a parasitological test becomes mandatory for the correct management of this disease. Few people might be carriers of these parasites as they might get infected with it but do not show up any symptoms and neither fall sick.
What can the testing for Malaria show up?
- Are you positive or negative for malaria parasites?
- Type and severity of Malaria you have
- If the infection is from a parasite, what type of drugs can it react to
- Has the disease led to anemia?
- Is the disease affecting your vital organs
Dreadful complications of Malaria is observant with the following outcomes:
- Unknown swelling in the blood vessel of the brain or your cerebral Malaria
- Fluid accumulation in the lungs leading to pulmonary edema or the breathing issues
- Anemia problem due to bad condition of red blood cells.
- Multiple organ failure like the spleen, kidney, or liver.
- Low blood sugar levels
By now, you know the meaning, symptoms, causes, effects, diagnosis and unknown facts about Malaria. If you or anyone from your friends or relatives face any prominent malaria symptoms or feeling random uneasiness, it is ideal for getting immediate testing done.
Consult your family physician and adhere to the medical advice and consultation by the experts. Taking care of these few things can help you cope with this disease’s hazards and ensure better protection for yourself!