MALARIA: Symptoms, Effects, and Its Preventive Measures.

Malaria is caused by Parasites that enter your body through the bite of an infected mosquito. In hot, muggy locations like Africa, this ailment that can be lethal occasionally occurs.

What is malaria?

Malaria, a fatal parasite illness, is spread when a mosquito bites a person. When a mosquito bites you, it injects malaria parasites into your circulation. The disease is not caused by a virus or a specific type of bacterium, but rather by parasites. If malaria is not treated, it can cause major health problems such as convulsions, brain damage, breathing problems, organ failure, and even death.

The parasites inside the red blood cells grow within 48 to 72 hours, causing the infected cells to rupture.

The symptoms come in cycles that last two to three days at a time when the parasites continue to attack red blood cells. The parasites that cause malaria can only survive in tropical and subtropical climes. Usually, instances of illness occur among visitors visiting nations where the disease is more prevalent. According to a Trusted Source cited by the World Health Organization (WHO), 91 countries reported an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 2016.

The origin of malaria?

If a mosquito carrying the Plasmodium parasite bites you, it may result in the occurrence of this disease. Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malaria, and Plasmodium falciparum are the four types of malaria parasites that may infect people.

P. falciparum causes a more serious version of the illness, and people who catch it have a greater risk of dying from it. The illness can also be transferred to a newborn by an infected mother. The term for this is congenital malaria.

The illness is spread by blood; hence it can also be spread by:

i. usage of shared needles
ii. syringes during a transfusion
iii. during an organ transplant

Who could contract malaria?

This illness may affect everyone, although African residents are more likely to contract it than other individuals. Pregnant women, younger kids, and older folk all have an increased morbidity and mortality risk from this disease. People who are impoverished and without access to healthcare are more prone to experience the condition’s complications.

Babies and toddlers account for the majority of those who die from malaria in Africa, where the acute-phase reactant is more than 90% of the inhabitants. In the 2020 malaria epidemic, children under the age of five accounted for more than 80% of fatalities.

What symptoms and indicators are present in the virus?

Symptoms of this illness often show up 10 days to 4 weeks after the infection. Sometimes it takes a couple of months before symptoms appear. Malaria-causing parasites might penetrate the body and remain dormant for a very long time.
Malaria symptoms are comparable to flu symptoms. They consist of:

Malaria Parasite

⦁ High temperature with copious perspiration
⦁ shivering chills that can vary from mild to severe
⦁ nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort
⦁ diarrhea
⦁ anemia
⦁ aching muscles
⦁ convulsions
⦁ soiled stools

Anemia and jaundice can develop as the illness spirals out of control (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
Cerebral malaria is the most severe form of the disease, which can lead to a coma. This category accounts for roughly 20% of fatalities in adults and 15% of deaths in children.

In what ways is Malaria detected?

The virus will be identified by your doctor. Your doctor will go through your medical history, including any recent trips you may have taken to a tropical location, during your visit. There will also be a physical examination.

If you have an enlarged liver or spleen, your doctor will be able to tell. Your doctor could request additional blood tests if you exhibit malaria symptoms to confirm the diagnosis.
The above screening will divulge:
⦁ the prevalence of malaria
⦁ if your infection is brought on by a parasite that is resistant to a certain class of medication, what sort of malaria do you have?
⦁ if the illness has resulted in anemia
⦁ if your key organs have been impacted by the illness

How is Malaria disease treated?

Particularly if you have the parasite P. falciparum, malaria can be a potentially fatal illness. Usually, a hospital is where the condition is treated. Depending on the kind of parasite you have, your doctor will recommend a course of treatment.
Due to parasite drug resistance, the recommended medicine may occasionally fail to treat the illness. If this happens, your doctor may need to treat your illness with more than one drug or a different medication entirely.

Additionally, certain parasites that cause this illness, such as P. vivax and P. ovale, have hepatic stages that enable them to stay dormant in your body for a protracted period before becoming operational and infecting you yet again.
If it becomes determined that you have one of these parasites, you will be given additional medicine to stop a future recurrence.

Potentially fatal effects of the virus:

Numerous life-threatening consequences from malaria can occur. These things might happen:
⦁ brain swelling, cerebral malaria, pulmonary edema
⦁ a buildup of fluid in the lungs that impairs breathing, or organ failure of the kidneys, liver, or spleen
⦁ anemia brought on by the loss of red blood cells
⦁ low blood glucose

Can malaria be eliminated?

If you want to visit or temporarily reside in a region where malaria is prevalent, talk to your doctor about taking anti-malarial drugs. The medications must be taken before, during, and after your stay. The risk of contracting malaria can be significantly decreased by medication. If you take these medications but still contract malaria, you cannot use these medications to treat it.

To prevent mosquito bites, you need also to take precautions. To lessen your risk of contracting the illness, you should:
⦁ To protect exposed skin from mosquitoes, use DEET (diethyltoluamide) insect repellent.
⦁ Cover mattresses with mosquito net
⦁ Install screens on the doors and windows.
⦁ Apply permethrin, an insect repellent, on clothes, mosquito nets, tents, sleeping bags, and other materials.
⦁ To safeguard one’s skin, put on long sleeve shirts.

Can you get vaccinated against the virus?

In a trial study, a vaccination for kids was created and tested in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. Children who contract Plasmodium falciparum malaria, which is a serious illness, can be protected with the RTS, S/AS01 vaccination.
A vaccine for this illness is being developed by other initiatives.

What’s the short or medium outcome for infected individuals?

The protracted outlook for malaria patients who receive treatment is frequently positive. If disease-related problems occur, the prognosis may not be as positive. Cerebral malaria can cause brain damage by thickening the blood vessels in the brain.
Long-term prognoses for patients with narcotic parasites may also be abysmal. These patients’ malaria episodes could return. This might lead to other problems.

Vitamin Deficiency: Main Symptom and Precaution

How is malaria connected to the sickle cell trait?

Scientists have discovered that individuals with the sickle cell trait have some defense against the Plasmodium falciparum-caused form of malaria. It appears that the red blood cells sickle shape traps and aid in the destruction of parasites. Research is still being done to determine how to use this knowledge.
When you have one normal gene and one sickle cell gene, you have a sickle cell trait. Compared to sickle cell disease, is different. Sickle cell disease refers to a collection of blood conditions, including sickle cell anemia.

Advice on preventing malaria:

There isn’t a vaccine for this disease on the market to date. If you reside in or are traveling to a region where malaria is prevalent, see your doctor. To stop the sickness, you could be given medicine.

These prescription drugs, which should be taken before, during, and after your trip, are the same ones that are used to treat the disease.

If you reside in a region where this illness is prevalent, speak with your doctor about long-term prophylaxis. Being bitten by an infected mosquito might be avoided by sleeping under a mosquito net. Utilizing mosquito covers or DEET-containing bug sprays can also help avoid illness.

The CDC maintains an up-to-date map if you’re wondering whether this virus is common where you live.

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