Malaria…Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Malaria: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Malaria came into being perhaps since the evolution of mankind. Age-old and life threatening, it has plagued civilisations for centuries and continues to do so to date. Malaria-eradication programmes have been at  the vanguard of most health-care schemes in most countries, and  even now, some 200 million malaria cases are reported globally. A significant number die. This scourge, where humidity and ambient temperatures rule,  becomes  more virulent in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. Regardless,  even the USA and Europe have not been spared, making this parasite-driven illness ,global.

What Causes Malaria?

Malaria is caused by a parasite, which invades a certain kind of  mosquito, who in turn bites humans.  This certain kind of mosquito is the  female Anopheles which transmits malaria and the resultant illness. Therefore, with the advent of numerous mosquito and vector-borne illnesses, a mosquito   bite , by force of events assumes potential significance, urging caution and immediate treatment and consulting a Doctor.

Causes Malaria

Malaria-Types and Symptoms 

Malaria has been categorised as Uncomplicated or Severe. Yet the symptoms, generally over-lap each other. These include a sensation of cold with shivering, fever, headaches, sweats where temperatures tend to rise and fall. Impaired consciousness, convulsions, deep, heavy  breathing  or abnormal bleeding take this to the next level, typified as serious.

What happens in malaria?

The parasite-infected mosquito attacks the liver  and destroys red blood cells.It is known to lie dormant for 10-15 days , where after, it overwhelms the human body to  cause damage. The saliva of the mosquito messes with  the immune system.

What should be done and the Good news!

mosquito net

Cover yourself to the extent possible by wearing long sleeve shirt and shoes with socks. Recently , some progressive research has resulted in the creation of chemically-induced bed nets. The good-old mosquito nets still provide safety!!

Ivermectin an oral drug has been developed through intense research. It has a major effect on mosquito mortality as it   paralyses the parasite and prevents it from producing additional larvae. However, the side-effects of this drug need to be watched and monitored carefully.

Artemisinin- based Combination Therapy (ACT)  is another WHO –approved method for treating uncomplicated malaria. A partner drug with ACT is considered an imperative.

 

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