Health check Logo

Malaria Fever – A Detailed Guide on Types, Symptoms and Many More

19 Apr 2023 by Admin
Blog details

Malaria is a life-threatening disease that affects millions of people every year. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, which is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. The disease is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, particularly in Africa, but it also occurs in parts of Asia, South America, and Central America. In this detailed guide, we will discuss the different types of malaria, their symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Types of Malaria

There are five different types of malaria parasites that can infect humans, each of which causes a slightly different form of the disease. These include:

  1. Plasmodium falciparum: This is the most common and deadly type of malaria. It accounts for most malaria-related deaths worldwide and is particularly prevalent in Africa.

  2. Plasmodium vivax: This type of malaria is less severe than P. falciparum but can cause chronic infection and relapses.

  3. Plasmodium malariae: This type of malaria is relatively uncommon and causes milder symptoms than P. falciparum.

  4. Plasmodium ovale: This type of malaria is similar to P. vivax, but less common.

  5. Plasmodium knowlesi: This type of malaria is found only in Southeast Asia and can cause severe disease in humans.

Symptoms of Malaria

The symptoms of malaria can vary depending on the type of parasite causing the infection. Common symptoms of malaria include:

  1. High fever
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle pain
  4. Fatigue
  5. Chills
  6. Nausea and vomiting
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Anemia
  9. Jaundice
  10. Convulsions

Symptoms usually appear 7 to 30 days after infection, but they can take up to a year to develop in some cases. The severity of symptoms can also vary, with some people experiencing only mild symptoms, while others may become critically ill.

Causes of Malaria

Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, which is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a person, it injects the parasite into the bloodstream. The parasite then travels to the liver, where it multiplies and infects red blood cells. This causes the symptoms of malaria.

Diagnosis of Malaria

Malaria can be diagnosed through a blood test, which will show whether the parasite is present in the blood. There are several different types of blood tests that can be used to diagnose malaria, including:

  1. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs): These are simple, inexpensive tests that can be performed in the field, without the need for a laboratory. They work by detecting specific proteins produced by the malaria parasite.

  2. Microscopic examination of blood: This is a more accurate but time-consuming test that requires a laboratory and a trained technician. It involves examining a blood sample under a microscope to look for the presence of malaria parasites.

  3. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): This is a highly sensitive test that can detect even low levels of the parasite in the blood. It requires specialized equipment and a laboratory, so it is not widely available.

Treatment of Malaria

Malaria can be treated with a combination of drugs, depending on the type of parasite causing the infection and the severity of the disease. The most common drugs used to treat malaria include:

  1. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs): These are the most effective drugs for treating P. falciparum malaria, which is the most deadly form of the disease.

  2. Chloroquine: This drug is used to treat P. viv