Malaria treatment

Malaria is an infectious disease which is transmitted to humans through the bite of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes that are infected are the female Anopheles that carry the parasite that causes malaria. There are four versions of the parasite plasmodium which is responsible for malaria infections in humans. The numbers of people affected by this disease in areas of the world where tropical climates are present continue to rise even today. The statistics show that there will be up to 500 million people who will become infected with malaria this year alone. Malaria is also responsible for over 2 million deaths per year.

Malaria is transmitted in this manner. The female mosquito bites someone who is infected with the disease. They then ingest the infected person’s blood which contains the plasmodium parasite. They will then go bite another person who will then become infected with malaria as well. Once a person is infected with the plasmodium parasite, the parasite then moves to the person’s liver. It takes the time to multiply and then reenters the bloodstream where it works to break down the red blood cells. These cells rupture allowing more of the parasite into the body to wreak more havoc.

Malaria symptoms can occur within a few days to a few weeks. These symptoms include fever, chills, shaking, headaches, dizziness, nausea, generalized fatigue, muscle and joint pain, low back pain, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms can range from mild to severe in nature. Attacks of symptoms can occur then go away. They tend to recur from once a day to every third day.

Malaria can be diagnosed by a medical professional such as a physician by doing a history and physical examination. They will also find out where the person has been in the world. Laboratory tests will be done to rule out malaria. They will also do testing to find out which parasitic infection is present if a diagnosis of malaria is made.

If a person feels that they might have malaria evaluation and treatment should be sought out immediately. Medications can be given to treat the disease. Prompt treatment can stop or slow down the progression of the parasite in the bloodstream. There are some severe cases of malaria that do require hospitalization.

The four parasitic infections that cause malaria include plasmodium falciparum. This type of parasitic infection is one of the most severe forms of malaria. It can rapidly develop into severe illness or even death if not treated immediately. Other forms of malaria are seldom that severe. This form of malaria is treated with chloroquine if the parasite is not resistant. Other medications can be given in conjunction with the chloroquine to stop this infection. Quinine is recommended as treatment for this strain of parasite if it is resistant to chloroquine.

Malaria is treated dependant on the severity of the disease. If the illness is severe, hospitalization is recommended and intravenous antibiotics as well as anti-malarial drugs will be administered until the infection is under control. This type of infection is most often seen in parts of Central America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Two other forms of the parasite are plasmodium vivax and plasmodium ovale. Chloroquine is the medication that is widely used to treat both of these malarial infections. This type of infection is usually seen in India and South America. Plasmodium malariae is the fourth type of parasite that causes malaria. Chloroquine is the drug of choice for treatment for this type of parasite. The alternative treatment is hydroxychloroquine.

There are measures that can be taken in order to prevent malaria while in areas where chances of being infected are high. One of the most important methods is to wear clothing that covers the body. Another step that can be taken is to use some type of mosquito repellant such as DEET in order to prevent mosquito bites. Netting around beds and other areas can be used to keep mosquitoes away as well. There are medications that can be taken as a preventative for malaria. Persons who are traveling into areas where infection may be an issue should consult with their physician to see what course of action they recommend.

Last updated on Mar 11th, 2010 and filed under Other Conditions & Diseases. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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