Symptoms And Treatment Of Malaria

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Background

Malaria is a tropical disease which is prevalent in countries across the equator, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. It is spread by Anopheles mosquitoes (infected with plasmodium), which bite the host and inject the malaria parasite (plasmodium) into the blood of the host. [1] After this the parasite travels to the liver where it reproduces. Then it re-enters the bloodstream and reproduces and multiplies inside the red blood cells, as a result of this the infected red blood cells burst, releasing parasites into the blood. The infected red blood cells burst within two to three days of being infected, this causes fevers, fatigue and headaches. The symptoms of malaria can range from diarrhoea and sweating to muscle pains, anaemia due to the loss of red blood cells and even death.
The infected mosquitoes are normally female Anopheles mosquitoes which have a tendency to bite at night. The infected mosquitoes carry one of the five types of plasmodium that affect human beings. The most common type of plasmodium is plasmodium falciparum which is mainly found in Africa but can also be found worldwide.[2] However people with Sickle Cell Trait have a slight natural defense against Malaria.

Types of Malarial Parasite:
• P. falciparum – mostly found in Sub-Saharan African
• P. vivax – found mostly in Asia, Latin America and Africa
• P. ovale- found mostly in Western Africa and some Pacific Islands
• P. malariae- found worldwide
• P. knowlesi – Southeast Asia mostly
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