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Signs and symptoms of malaria

Updated on November 6, 2010

Symptoms of malaria found in Africa,Asia and South America

Malaria is a rapidly progressing disease that normally develops within an incubation period of seven to ten days after being bitten by a parasite-infected mosquito.

Malaria is a challenge to visitors that travel to Africa, Asia and the South America.

The signs and symptoms are usually complex but the most noticeable ones include;

  1. Alternating chills and sweating
  2. Headache
  3. Joint and body aches
  4. High fever
  5. Easy fatigue

Rare but possible symptoms may include;

  1. Diarrhoea
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Cough
  4. Sore throat

Once the victim develops these signs and symptoms a confirmatory blood test can be carried out. Malaria is easily detected by a simple laboratory test that involves a blood smear. Blood from the victim is taken from a finger-prick, placed on a glass slide and viewed under a microscope to identify the organsism causing the condtion.

The microscopic plasmodium, the causitve germ, normally lodges and nourishes itself in the blood of the patient attacking the red blood cells. They destroy the red blood cells and reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood leading to all the symptoms.

Treatment should be instituted immediately to reduce the severity of the disease preventing any complications and finally to cure the malaria condition.

I developed malaria when I was at the coast of one of the African countries. Boy, was i sick. Men! I thought I would not make it. It was the worst I have ever felt when sick. It started with a slight headache for a half a day or so, followed by massive sweating and chills right into my bones even though the temperatures and the humidity were high. I lost all my muscle strength within a day and whenever I tried to walk, i could only take a few steps and i would feel dizzy and almost pass out. I lost my appetite too and there seemed to be excess saliva in my mouth all the time prompting me to spit out oftenly. I lost the taste in my mouth completely.

By the second day of my symptoms,my condition had deteriorated and my malaria had worsened.I had to be rushed to the local hospital. I was so weakened that I had to be supported by someone to walk to the clinic for treatment.I was hospitalized and the local medics were almost certain it was malaria even before they had any lab work done.They put me on massive and very aggressive treatment and by a few hours I started to feel better though weakened.I had to stay for five days while under treatment to regain some of my strength back to walk again. Unbelievably,I shed several pounds off my weight within those few days of the ordeal.

I can never forget this scary experience!

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