Signs and Symptoms of Malaria

Signs and Symptoms of Malaria

Malaria is an infectious, life threatening disease of human as well as other animals which is mainly caused by the parasite Plasmodium sp. where the mosquito acts as a vector. The parasitic protozoan (a group of single cell protozoan), Plasmodium sp. is solely responsible for the outbreak of this disease. There are four parasite species which are responsible for the outbreak of malaria in human: i) Plasmodium falciparum ii) Plasmodium vivax iii) Plasmodium malariae iv) Plasmodium ovale though Plasmodium falciparum&Plasmodium vivaxare the most common. Between those two common parasitesPlasmodium falciparumis the most deadly one. 

The human malarial parasite Plasmodium requires two types of hosts, an invertebrate (mosquito) and a vertebrate (reptile, bird & mammals). When an infected mosquito takes blood from a vertebrate, it injects saliva containing tiny, elongated sporozoites into the blood stream. Thus the transmission of the pathogen occurs. After entry in man, the sporozoites first undergo exoerythrocytic schizogony in liver and then erythrocytic schizogony in RBC. This disease is usually diagnosed either by blood test or by antigen based specific diagnostic tests. 

Advanced polymerase reaction to identify the parasite’s DNA is also a process to detect this disease but this is not widely used for its huge expenditure. This is can be prevented by the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents to get rid from mosquito bites as well as by spraying insecticides and draining standing waters present near the residence. Tropical and subtropical regions around the equator are mostly affected by this disease.
Malaria is an acute febrile illness having some symptoms which may appear within 7 days to 15 days from the time of infective mosquito bites. If not treated within 24 hours after the appearance of the symptoms Plasmodium falciparum may results into severe illness. 

Some of the symptoms which are commonly found in the persons after a bite by the infective mosquito are discussed in brief:
  • ·         Paroxysm: It is the most common symptom of the malaria. As a result of this symptom a cyclical occurrence of sudden feeling of coldness which is followed by the shivering and fever finally results into sweating appeared in the body of the affected person.
  • ·         The patients suffer from fever after affecting the malarial parasite. The body temperature varies between 100°F to 103°f usually in most cases.
  • ·         Presence of haemoglobin in the urine of the affected persons also indicates the appearance of this disease. Thus urine test is also done for the confirmation for this disease.
  • ·         Gastrointestinal problems such nausea & vomiting appears which may last for long duration too but the severity varies from person to person.
  • ·         Spleen becomes larger than its normal as a result of severe affection of this disease.
  • ·         Chills and sweating after the paroxysm cycle is observed as a physiological symptom of this disease.
  • ·         Muscles also affected by this disease arising fatigue and severe muscular pain which can be controlled by the limited usage of painkillers.
  • ·         Presence of dry cough is a side effect of this disease which also can be treated as a symptom.

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