Malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening disease, and this disease is transmitted by mosquitoes infected with a parasite called Plasmodium parasite. red blood cells and destroys them, leading to the emergence of a group of symptoms in the form of recurrent episodes, each of which lasts for two to three days. It is worth noting that according to the World Health Organization, approximately 216 million cases were recorded in 91 countries around the world in 2016, and it is reported that the majority of these cases were in the tropics and subtropics.[١]

Symptoms of malaria

Symptoms of this disease usually appear within ten days to four weeks of exposure to infection, and doctors divide the possible symptoms of malaria into two main parts, namely:[١][٢]

  • Uncomplicated malaria: In this case, the patient shows some of the following symptoms without suffering from any severe symptoms or indicating damage to one of the internal organs of the body, and it should be noted that the symptoms of uncomplicated malaria are somewhat similar to the symptoms of influenza, and are as follows: :
  • Severe malaria: In this case, a set of symptoms and laboratory evidence appear that indicate a defect or damage to one of the body’s organs, and these symptoms include the following:
  • Chills and feeling cold.
  • Suffering from fever, headache, and vomiting.
  • Seizures in some younger children.
  • Excessive sweating, feeling tired and exhausted.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Impaired consciousness.
  • Frequent seizures.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing normally.
  • Abnormal bleeding, and signs of anemia.
  • Jaundice, which is known among the people as jaundice.

Malaria treatment

The treatment of malaria depends on the use of one or more types of antimalarial drug treatments. These drugs may cause some side effects such as nausea, headache, mouth sores, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and increased sensitivity to sunlight. It should be noted that the doctor chooses the appropriate medication for treatment based on several factors such as the type of parasite that causes infection, the severity of the disease, the health status of the patient, and based on the geographical area in which the infected person was exposed. Among the medicines that are used are the following:[٣][٤]

  • Chloroquine: This drug can be used as a treatment or preventative option from infection, and it works against more than one type of parasite that causes disease.
  • Quinine: This drug is used as a treatment option only. It cannot be used to prevent disease. It should be noted that it is usually used with another drug in treatment-resistant cases.
  • Atovaquone and proguanil This dual combination formulation can be used in the treatment and prevention of some cases of malaria, but cannot be given to pregnant women or infants.
  • Mefloquine: This drug plays an important role in the treatment and prevention of drug-resistant malaria, but it is associated with the occurrence of some psychological side effects, so this drug should not be used in the treatment of people with a mental illness, whether at the present time or in earlier time.
  • Primaquine: Primaquine is the most effective drug in treating cases of malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium vivax (scientific name: Plasmodium vivax).
  • Quinidine gluconate: It can be given as an intravenous injection, and is used as an option in severe and complicated cases of malaria, and it should be used in conjunction with one of the following antibiotics: Doxycycline, or tetracycline. Tetracycline or clindamycin.

Malaria prevention

There are medicines that can be used to prevent or reduce the risk of malaria in the event of traveling to an area where the disease is prevalent, and scientists are currently working on developing some promising vaccines that can contribute to the prevention of malaria, and it is possible to prevent malaria by protecting the body from exposure to the mosquito that transmits the disease. This can be done by using a mosquito net treated with a long-acting insecticide while sleeping in areas where this type of mosquitoes abound; Spray homes with insecticide.[٥]

Malaria complications

Malaria is a serious disease, as mentioned previously, that can cause death if left untreated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 91% of deaths were recorded in Africa, especially among children who They are less than five years old, and the cause of death in these cases is often one of the following complications:[٦]

  • Cerebral malaria: The red blood cells that are colonized by parasitic organisms can cause a blockage in the small blood vessels in the brain, and this may lead to swelling or malfunction in the brain, and the patient suffers from convulsive seizures and enters a state of cerebral malaria. coma in some cases.
  • Breathing problems: These problems occur because fluid collects in the lungs and causes difficulty breathing.
  • Organ failure: The disease may lead to liver or kidney failure, or rupture of the spleen, and the occurrence of any of these disorders is life-threatening.
  • Anemia: Malaria destroys red blood cells, exposing the patient to anemia.
  • Hypoglycemia: In severe cases of malaria, the patient may suffer from a low level of sugar in his blood, and the quinine drug used to treat malaria may cause hypoglycemia as a side effect of its use.

malaria diagnosis

The doctor diagnoses malaria by inquiring about the person’s medical history, and asking him whether he has visited one of the tropics recently. The doctor also examines him physically; Which helps him to detect some cases of enlarged liver or spleen. If symptoms of malaria appear on the patient, the doctor will then order a blood test to confirm whether or not malaria is infected.[١]

the reviewer

  1. ^ ABC “Malaria”, www.healthline.com, 8-12-2018. Edited.
  2. ↑ “What to know about malaria”, www.medicalnewstoday.com, 12-8-2018. Edited.
  3. ↑ “Malaria Medication”, www.medscape.com, 8-12-2018. Edited.
  4. ↑ “Malaria Prevention and Treatment”, www.everydayhealth.com, 12-8-2018. Edited.
  5. ↑ “Malaria”, www.who.int, 12-8-2018. Edited.
  6. ↑ “Malaria”, www.mayoclinic.org, 12-8-2018. Edited.

Symptoms of malaria

Writing – on the date : – Last updated: 2022-05-15 11:06:01