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Malaria, Causes and Symptoms of Malaria

In the year 1880 scientists discovered that an anopheles female mosquito (a parasite) infects its host which needs blood for her eggs. The basic characteristics of malaria are fever, chills, sweating and pain. Malaria sometimes can be life threatning if not treated in time. There are more than 40% people who are at risk of getting infected with this disease.

How is Malaria Caused

A parasite called “Plasmodium” causes malaria by transmitting it through its bites of infected mosquitoes. When these parasites get into the human body, they multiply in the liver and infect the red blood cells.

A female mosquito known as anopheles infects the human body by biting the person. Anopheles mosquitoes are the only ones which can transmit this disease. These mosquitoes would have had a blood meal taken from an infected person. When an infected person is bitted by a mosquito, a small amount of blood is taken which contains microscopic parasites of malaria. After one week, when mosquitoes take their next blood meal, these parasites mix with the saliva of the mosquito and gets injected in the person who is bitten.

Malaria parasite is found in red blood cells of a person who is infected, this disease can get transmitted through organ transplant, blood transfusion, used needles and syringes which may be contaminated with blood. A pregnant woman suffering from malaria can pass on this disease to the unborn child either before or during the delivery.

Symptoms of Malaria

The basic symptoms of malaria are shivering, headache, fever, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Since the red blood cells are infected with the parasites, malaria may also cause jaundice and anemia. The symptoms are not immediately seen, they appear after 12 to 15 days of the mosquito bite. If malaria is not treated on time, it can become life threatening by damaging the organs of the body.

Plasmodium falciparum is one type of malaria which can cause serious damage to the kidneys, mental disorder, coma and death. There are many parasites that have developed a resistance to many malaria medicines. These above symptoms are very serious and being infected with malaria parasites may also lead to other disease and death.

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