ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Key Information About Malaria

Updated on December 26, 2019
srirad0675 profile image

Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Malaria is a disease that is caused by sporozoan parasites (genus Plasmodium) in the red blood cells.

Every 2 minutes, a child dies of malaria. Each year, more than 200 million new cases are reported.

Where is malaria found?

Annually, there are 584,000 deaths from malaria worldwide, with 90 percent occurring in Africa. It remains one of the most serious global health problems.

A strain of malaria resistant to two key anti-malarial medicines became dominant in Vietnam, Laos and northern Thailand in July 2019 after spreading rapidly from Cambodia.

Using genomic surveillance to track the spread of drug-resistant malaria, the scientists found that the strain, known as KEL1/PLA1, had evolved and picked up new genetic mutations making it more resistant.

Malaria Parasite Life Cycle

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Causes

Malaria can occur if a mosquito infected with the Plasmodium parasite bites you. This parasite is spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes, which are known as "night-biting" mosquitoes because they most commonly bite between dusk and dawn.

Ways you can catch the disease from a person is through blood transfusions, shared needles, from mother to child in "congenital malaria," or organ transplants.

Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of Montpeller discovered (in October 2019) how the world's deadliest malaria parasite managed to jump from gorillas to humans by resurrecting a 50,000-year-old gene sequence.

Electron Micrograph of Malaria Parasite

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Vulnerable Groups

Two groups most vulnerable to malaria are young children, who have not yet developed immunity to the disease; and pregnant women, whose immunity has decreased because they are expecting.

Types of Malaria Parasites

 
Plasmodium falciparum
Plasmodium malariae
Plasmodium vivax
Plasmodium ovale
Plasmodium knowlesi

Symptoms

Malaria attack usually starts with shivering and chills, followed by a high fever, followed by sweating and a return to normal temperature.

The same pattern of symptoms — chills, fever, sweating — may repeat every two or three days, depending on which malaria parasite is causing the infection.

Malaria signs and symptoms typically begin within a few weeks after the mosquito bite.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Complications

Malaria can develop to anemia, hypoglycemia, or cerebral malaria, in which capillaries carrying blood to the brain are blocked. Cerebral malaria can cause coma, life-long-learning disabilities, and death.

Progression of the disease can result in spleen enlargement and liver enlargement. In severe cases it can cause neurological problems.

Prognosis

Plasmodium falciparum infection carries a poor prognosis with a high mortality if untreated, but it has an excellent prognosis if diagnosed early and treated appropriately.

Diagnosis

Malaria parasites can be identified by examining under the microscope a drop of the patient's blood, spread out as a “blood smear” on a microscope slide.

Treatment

"If the illness is diagnosed early and treated, it's totally curable and all malaria parasites can be cleared from the body," said Dr. Edward Ryan, director of global infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Treatment depends on various factors that include severity, Plasmodium species infecting the patient and the potential for drug resistance of species and strains of Plasmodium.

In general, it takes around two weeks of treatment to be cured of this disease. Artemisinin-based combination therapies are used to treat malaria.

Peptide to Treat Malaria

Research scientists Bill J. Baker and colleagues reported in ACS' Journal of Natural that the peptide friomaramide they isolated from the Antarctic sponge Inflatella coelosphaeroides shows promise as a lead for new therapies. This peptide does not harm the liver.

Prevention

Malaria vaccine RTS,S, that took more than 30 years to be developed and almost USD 1 billion in investment, will now be available in three African countries — Malawi, Ghana and Kenya, as part of children's routine immunisation schedules.

Stay in well-screened areas at night. Use a bed-net impregnated with insecticides. Use a mosquito repellent.

Before you travel, check the CDC’s website to see whether your destination is a hotspot for malaria.

You may have to take pills before, during, and after your trip to reduce the risk.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) have developed small molecule compounds that rob mosquitoes of the ability to spread the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Designed to Halt Malaria Transmission

Do you use mosquito net?

See results

Summary

Around 90 percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa.

High fever is a symptom of malaria.

Cerebral malaria can cause life-long-learning disabilities.

There is no vaccine for malaria.

Treatment depends on Plasmodium species.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • srirad0675 profile imageAUTHOR

      Srikanth R 

      6 months ago

      Thank you.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      6 months ago

      It's so important for people to be aware of the dangers of malaria and in particular if travelling. Your article is full of useful advice.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)