Malaria is a tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Without early diagnosis and treatment, it can be fatal. People who have acute malaria usually feel sick with chills.
The world health program distributes preventive drugs and insecticide-treated bed nets to protect people from mosquito bites to reduce malaria infections. WHO recommends malaria vaccines for children who live in malaria-prone countries.
The mosquito becomes infected when it bites someone with malaria. When a mosquito bites someone else, it transmits a parasite to the other person’s bloodstream. From there, the parasite multiplies. Various parasites may infect humans with malaria.
Malaria can be transmitted to an unborn child in rare cases when the mother is pregnant and has the illness. It’s possible, but unlikely, for malaria to be passed through blood transfusions, organ donations, and hypodermic needles.
Signs and symptoms of acute malaria are similar to the symptoms of flu including:
As malaria worsens, it causes jaundice and anemia. The most severe form of malaria is known as cerebral malaria which may progress to a coma.
Malaria symptoms usually appear 10 days to one month after the person was infected. Depending on the type of parasite, symptoms can be mild. Some people don’t feel sick for up to a year after the mosquito bite. Parasites can sometimes live in the body for several years without causing symptoms.
Diagnosis for Acute Malaria
You will be asked about your symptoms and travel history by your health care provider. It is important to share the information about the countries you have visited recently so that your health care provider can identify your risk.
Your health care provider will take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab to see if you have malaria parasites. The blood test will tell your health care provider if you have malaria and will also identify the type of parasite that causes your symptoms. Your health care provider will use this information to decide the right treatment.
It is recommended to seek treatment right away if you have malaria. Your doctor will prescribe you medications to kill the malaria parasite. Some medications are given along with other drugs.