Malaria – Life Threatening Disease

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infection of human and animal caused by plasmodium. The infection can cause severe fever and headache which can even lead to death. 5 of the species of malaria are transmitted via human. These are – Plasmodium falciparum which cause serious infection, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae and plasmodium knoelesi.

Malaria is a widespread disease in the tropical and subtropical regions including Asia, Africa and America. In 2009 there were 225 million cases of malaria all over the world. 781,000 people died of malaria in the year where as in the next year the death rate reached to 1238,000. 90 per cent of malaria related deaths all over the world happens in sun-Saharan Africa.

Symptoms of Malaria –

General symptoms of malaria are shivering, fever (sometimes high), joint pain, vomiting, jaundice, retinal damage, anemia, hemoglobinuria and convulsion. In almost all of the malaria cases sudden coldness occurs followed by rigor, fever and sweating for 6 hours. This happens in a cyclic order.

The severe malaria shows its symptoms after 6-14 days of infection. Pregnant women and children are more susceptible to that kind of malaria. If not treated immediately it can lead to coma and even death. The symptoms of severe malaria are severe headache, renal failure, enlargement of spleen, cerebral ischemia, enlargement of liveretc.

Prevention of Malaria –

For infections like malaria prevention is more important than treatment. Malaria prevention measures involve medications, use of mosquito nets and immunization etc.

Treatment of Malaria –

If treated properly a malaria patient can recover completely although it depends on the severity of the infection. Uncomplicated malaria infection can easily be treated with oral drugs.

Severe malaria is to be treated with parenteral administration of the anti-malaria drugs. But the most effective treatment for severe malaria is quinine. But the treatment of severe malaria also requires supportive measures.

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