Malaria? Here’s what to look for!
Traveling in countries with malaria creates a chance of comming in contact with an infected malaria mosquitos. There is a small risk even when you take malaria pills and take anti-mosquito precautions to protect yourself a mosquito bite. Although the risk of infection is minor, the potential consequences if you develop malaria are not. Infection from a severe form of malaria needs immediate treatment because the malaria symptoms develop rapidly. This is why it is very important for you to recognise the symptoms of malaria. It could literally be a matter of life or death.
Different malaria symptoms
There are three different kinds of malaria. Some symptoms of malaria are the same no matter which tye of malria you have, although they may vary in intensity. There are also a number of symptoms that are specific to one kind of malaria.
The symptoms seen in every strain of malaria are the flu-like symptoms. These include:
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle aches
Different fever patterns
The patterns of the fever attacks differ with each malaria strain. For example, if infected by ‘malaria tropica’, you’ll generally have a fever every day. This is the most dangerous form of malaria. If the patient isn’t effectively treated within 48 hours, malaria tropica could lead to death within a few days.
Malaria tertiana causes fever attacks that last for 4 to 6 hours, once every 48 hours. In malaria quartana, the attacks are shorter and occur every 72 hours.
If malaria isn’t treated in an early stage, secondary symptoms could include anaemia and an enlarged spleen. Malaria tropica could cause the following symptoms after a few days:
- Inability to urinate
- Decline in consciousness
What causes malaria symptoms?
Malaria victims are infected with a malaria parasite. There are five different species of malaria parasites. They are usually transferred by the bite of a malaria mosquito. As soon as this happens, the parasite starts to multiply in the body. This starts in the liver and then moves on to the red blood cells. When the red blood cells succumb to parasitic expansion, they burst open. This causes the parasites and their waste matter to roam freely in the blood. This is what causes the flu-like malaria symptoms. The released parasites infect new red blood cells and repeat the process. Host develop anaemia due to the destruction of red blood cells.
Severe symptoms due to loss of vital functions
The severe malaria tropica symptoms start when the infected red blood cells get stuck in the capillaries of vital organs. When these blood vessels are blocked, the supply of nutrients and oxygen is obstructed. Moreover, the blood vessels and organ tissue are damaged. Without effective treatment, this leads to total organ failure and cessation of vital functions.
Have You Been Exposed to Malaria?
If you suspect that you have malaria symptoms, it’s essential that you get examined right away. All types of malaria can be treated effectively.
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Last updated on July 14, 2016.