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Malaria Symptoms: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments

Malaria is a very common disease across parts of the world with tropical or warm climates. Such weather conditions support the life of many insects, including mosquitoes which serve as the primary carrier of many diseases, one of which is Malaria.

Malaria is spread by mosquito bites of the infected female Anopheles mosquito, which lets the parasite Plasmodium into the bloodstream, which then targets the liver and also kills red blood cells in the body.

Malaria may be mild or it may be severe. In case it is mild, treatment is easier and more effective. This is when the blood platelet count does not reduce so much that it is highly dangerous as per physicians’ standards.

In case malaria is severe it must be treated very carefully yet rigorously since this can lead to coma, and eventually the death of the patient. It can also spread to the brain, which is called Cerebral Malaria, and can cause serious damage to one’s mental performance.

Diagnosis of Malaria is sometimes difficult as the symptoms of malaria are very similar to the symptoms of flu. As a result, it is easy to confuse the two, but prolonged exposure to the Plasmodium strains can worsen the patients' condition and can also prove to be fatal if malaria spreads to the cerebellum.

What to look out for

Here are the symptoms of Malaria that one should be wary of, especially if they are living in or traveling through an area where mosquito-borne diseases are common:

-  Recurrent fever

When patients get Malaria initially, they get a fever. This is very similar to the flu, which is why there is a high chance of the two being confused initially.

The fever recurs every few hours and sometimes may even go away for a whole day before recurring. This should, therefore, not be taken lightly and if one lives in a place where malaria is common this means they should get tested.

This is also true for those who are traveling through such an area where malaria and other mosquito borne diseases are common.

-  Chills and Shaking

Patients who get malaria have a fever and as a result often feel very cold and get chills. This goes on to show how serious the fever is and how badly it affects a person.

Patients get chills and as a result feel extremely cold, and nothing seems to help. They may also shiver due to the same as well.

-  Seizures

The cold and shaking of a patient can sometimes get so extreme that they can get a seizure due to feeling cold. As with the other symptoms of Malaria, the seizures can also be recurrent and they can keep coming back after a few hours or even days. Patients sometimes may also experience convulsions.

-  Sweating

Like it happens in a fever generally, sweating is common with those with Malaria. However, it can get very extreme, and since a person has a fever as well, it can lead to a drastic rise and fall in the body temperature, accompanied with chattering teeth.

-  Fatigue

The fever exhausts a patient as it is, but the Plasmodium parasite also continually feeds on several other resources of a person’s body. It is, then, not surprising that fatigue and extreme tiredness are often experienced by those with Malaria.

-  Impaired consciousness

The patient of malaria may lose concentration, have difficulty staying focused, and sometimes even find it hard to stay conscious.

-  Difficulty in breathing

Patients may be wheezing and coughing as they find it difficult to breathe. The respiration process is slow and laborious with a patient of Malaria.

-  Anemia

As the Plasmodium attacks the liver and then kills the red blood cells, it is not surprising that anemia occurs as a result of the same.

The symptoms of anemia are also seen in patients, then; and as a result of this the breathing issues and fatigue also get worse with the patients.

-  Jaundice

Since the liver is under serious threat by the Plasmodium parasite, its functioning is also impaired. While other body organs may also be affected and their functioning may also be affected, the most common and the initial organ to be affected is the liver.

Precautions to take

Malaria is as dangerous as it is common in some places. The fact that its categorised as an epidemic should clarify how dangerous it is. Hence it is really crucial to carry out all precautions properly and thereby ensure that one is not afflicted with it in the first place.

There are two steps to preventing Malaria:

(i) Preventing the breeding of mosquitoes, and

(ii) Protecting oneself from mosquito bites.

The following precautions can help one ensure they are not affected by Malaria:

  • Waste should be disposed in closed areas and should not be left in the open
  • Items in storage should be kept covered
  • Water should not be allowed to collect in spaces or in buckets, tyres, etc.
  • Keeping drainage ditches covered
  • Bird baths and animal feeding trays should be refreshed and the water should be disposed of in a closed drain
  • Hollow trees should be filled or covered
  • Land should be level so as to prevent water collecting in low patches
  • Plastics and polythenes should be disposed of correctly
  • Mosquito repellants should be sued in the form of creams or sprays
  • As much as possible, one should stay indoors
  • Mosquito nets should be used at night while one sleeps
  • Insecticides should be sprayed around the house to get rid of mosquitoes
  • Long sleeves should be worn to prevent getting bit by mosquitoes
  • Shorts and skirts should be avoided as they expose skin
  • Socks should be worn to keep the usually exposed feet and ankles covered
  • One should get an antimalarial prescription if an epidemic is at loose and many people around are catching the disease

With these precautions, one can ensure they are never affected by the deadly disease that malaria is, which claims many lives every year around the year. Check our F ull Body Checkup Price and plans to stay fit and healthy.

Last updated on : 19-02-2019

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