What is malaria?
Around 500 million people are affected with malaria every year worldwide. The malaria is spread by a malarial parasite which is released by the anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria might rapidly become a life threatening disease if no medical treatment is taken.
Malaria is a type of contagious condition. The reason is the protozoan strains of plasmodium which is carried from a person to other by the female anopheles mosquito.
A person gets infected with malaria with the mosquito bytes. It might spread in a high speed and might grow as an endemic. It is mostly found in warm places where there are water logging due to different reasons.
Types of malaria
There are mainly four types of malaria. They are:
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Plasmodium vivax
- Plasmodium malariae
- Plasmodium ovale
Plasmodium falciparum: This type of malaria is treated as the precarious one. The person needs immediate medical attention in this case. It might cause death of the person if untreated.
Plasmodium vivax: It is a kind of malaria which might be treated without trouble. Vivax is the name of an ordinary malaria parasite.
Plasmodium malariae: Malaria can be treated completely if taken medical care at the right time. It is a type of malaria which is found uncommonly.
Plasmodium ovale: This type of malaria is rare and it might be treated without difficulty.
Statistics show that 1 million to 3 million people die from malaria every year.
The malaria symptoms are:
- Excess sweating
- Muscle pain
- Flu-like illness
- Mild Jaundice
Malaria symptoms in children
Among the 3 million people die every year from malaria are children. The malaria symptoms in the children above 10 years are the same as in adults. But the malaria symptoms are severe in children below 5 years.
The infants might get protection from the maternal antibodies in the first two months of birth.
Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria Symptoms:
Flu-like Symptoms: Fever, headaches, chills and coughs are the signs of flu. A person infected with this type of malaria will also have similar signs.
Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea are the four main signs of this malaria.
Jaundice: It is one of the most common infection signs. Malaria is known to destroy the liver and red blood cells in our body causing jaundice.
Neurological Symptoms: The central nervous sytem is also targetted by this malaria resulting in seizures, coma and loss of consciousness.
Anemia: It is one of the unique signs of infection plasmodium falciparum malaria. As the red blood cells get destroyed, severe anemia can grip the patient. Fewer blood count and a condition called coagulation is also observed.
Plasmodium Vivax Malaria Symptoms:
The signs become apparent after 12-18 days of an incubation period. These signs are:
- Cyclical bouts of fever and shaking chills
- Enlargement of the spleen
- Dormant parasites can cause malaria after several months again
- In some rare cases, symptoms do not appear even after 6-10 months of infection
Symptoms of Plasmodium Malariae and Plasmodium Ovale Malaria: These parasites remain dormant inside the liver of a patient. The signs become apparent after a year or more. The time taken for the symptoms to become apparent is called incubation period. After the parasites become active, they repeat the symptoms of malaria.
Some of the Severe Malaria Symptoms are:
- Jaundice – yellow skin and eyeballs
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling shaky which is one of the symptoms of low blood sugar
- Bleeding and bruises from the nose or gums
- Blueish or pale skin
- Fast heart beat
- Fast breathing