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23 Jul

Malaria – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview:

Malaria is a human disease that is caused by sporozoan parasites(genus Plasmodium) in the red blood cells which are transmitted by the bite of anopheline mosquitoes and is characterized by periodic attacks of chills and fever.

 

Where does it originate from?

It is a mosquito-borne infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans(a group of single-celled microorganisms).

 

Causes:

Malaria can be caused if a mosquito infected with Plasmodium parasite bites.

There are four kinds of malaria parasites that can infect humans, they are:

  • Plasmodium Vivax
  • oval
  • malaria
  • falciparum.

An infected mother can also pass this disease to her baby at birth. This is called congenital malaria. Malaria is caused by blood so it can also be caused by an organ transplant, a transfusion and use of shared needles or syringes.

 

Symptoms:

The common symptoms of malaria include shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe. The other symptoms are high fever, profuse sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

 

Any Affecting Organ:

There are a lot of body parts affected by malaria, one of them is the liver. The Plasmodium falciparum can identify the surface of red blood cells it infects and it causes it to become “sticky”. So they lodge in the blood vessel then leading up to the major organs such as the heart and the kidney, which is called sequestration. There are other body parts which are affected too.

The other body parts affected are

Heart

Brain

Lungs

Spleen

Nervous system

Stomach.

 

Prevention/Treatment:

This is how to keep malaria at bay:

  •   Vaccination:

Research to develop safe and effective global vaccines for malaria is ongoing, with one vaccine already licensed for use in Europe. No vaccine is yet licensed in the U.S.

It is essential to seek medical attention for suspected symptoms of malaria as early as possible.

Treatment aims to eliminate the Plasmodium parasite from the patient’s bloodstream. Those without symptoms may be treated for infection to reduce the risk of disease transmission in the surrounding population.

Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is recommended by the W.H.O to treat uncomplicated malaria.

 

Sources:

1 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150670.php

2 https://marcmalaria.weebly.com/symptoms-and-body-parts-affected.html

3 https://www.healthline.com/health/malaria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria

 

 

 

 

 

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