What is Malaria?
Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Worldwide, malaria affects between 300 and 500 million people each year. About a 1,000 of cases of malaria occur each year in the United States.
Malaria is also called Biduoterian fever; blackwater fever; falciparum malaria; plasmodium; Quartan malaria; tertian malaria
Symptoms of Malaria
There are many symptoms of malaria and not every individual experiences all the symptoms. The symptoms are divided into three distinct states.
What Causes Malaria?
Malaria is caused by a bite from the female Anopheles mosquito. Then the female bites, she injects the malaria parasites into the bloodstream of the victim. There are four types of parasites that cause malaria. They are: P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae and P. falciparum.
When the parasites are in the bloodstream, they travel to the liver. Once inside the liver, they multiply at a very high rate. Within a week or so, up to 40,000 parasites flow back into the bloodstream, where they continue to multiply and begin to destroy red blood cells.
Female mosquitoes transmit the parasite because they take blood from the bitten victim. Male mosquitoes do not take blood from the victim.
After the mosquito ingests the parasite, it takes about a week to ten days or so for that mosquito to become infective.
Can Malaria be Treated?
Malaria can be treated . Your doctor can prescribe medication that can result in a complete recovery. However, if malaria is left untreated, complications may occur.
If you are going to an area where malaria exists, tell your doctor several weeks before you leave. Your doctor will advise you of what to do.
Complications of Malaria
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