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Malaria is described as a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite, this parasite is usually transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquito mosquitoes.
It affects millions of people each year, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and can be fatal if left untreated. In this article, we will discuss the causes and treatment of malaria.
Causes of malaria
Malaria as we have already pointed out above spread amongst humans when bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito
Once the parasite enters the human body, it travels to the liver where it multiplies before entering the bloodstream, where it infects and destroys red blood cells.
The symptoms of malaria are caused by the destruction of red blood cells and the release of toxic substances into the bloodstream.
What are the types of malaria?
There are 5 types of malaria parasites that can infect humans that you should be aware of, they include:
- Plasmodium falciparum or P. falciparum
- Plasmodium ovale or P. ovale
- Plasmodium malariae or P. malariae
- Plasmodium vivax or P. vivax
- Plasmodium knowlesi (or P. knowlesi
What are the 3 stages of malaria?
The three stages of malaria infection proceed as follows:
It goes into the liver cells, from the liver it proceeds into the blood cells and then finally it forms what are known as gametes that can be transmitted to mosquitos.
How long does malaria last?
If the infection is diagnosed early and treated well, it can be cured within two weeks.
However, in regions like Africa where malaria is very prevalent, some cases never get treated completely due to recurring infections and so the patient never recovers fully from in-between episodes of the infection.
Risk factors for malaria
Some of the risk factors for malaria include living in or traveling to areas with a high incidence of the disease, not taking preventative measures such as using mosquito nets and insect repellent and having a weakened immune system due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS or malnutrition.
Symptoms of malaria
The symptoms of malaria depend on the particular type of parasite that caused the infection.
However, the most common known symptoms include; fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, and headache.
In severe cases, malaria can cause complications such as anemia, kidney failure, and cerebral malaria, which can lead to coma and death.
Treatment of malaria
The treatment of malaria depends on several factors, including the severity of the infection, the type of parasite causing the infection, and the age and overall health of the patient.
The most commonly used treatments for malaria include:
- Antimalarial Medications: Antimalarial drugs are used to kill the Plasmodium parasite in the bloodstream. The type of medication prescribed will depend on the type of parasite causing the infection and the severity of the infection.
- Supportive Care: In severe cases of malaria, patients may require hospitalization to receive supportive care such as intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and oxygen therapy.
What is the best treatment for malaria?
One of the most preferred oral treatment prescriptions for malaria is the Coartem® (artemether-lumefantrine) this is because of its quick action.
While other good oral options are Malarone™ atovaquone-proguanil, quinine, and others
How can I cure malaria faster naturally?
If you are looking for home remedies for malaria, some herbs have been shown to be effective in getting rid of malaria symptoms.
These herbs include neem, tulsi, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, Guduchi, and Krishna musali.
Which fruits treat malaria?
Fruits may not directly get rid of malaria symptoms but they boost the immune system which will fight malaria.
Such fruits include those that are rich in Vitamin A and C such as papaya, and carrot, and also citrus fruits like orange, pineapple, grapes, lemons, and berries.
Prevention of malaria
Preventing malaria involves several measures, including:
- Using Mosquito Nets: Sleeping under a mosquito net can help prevent mosquito bites while sleeping.
- Insect Repellent: Using insect repellent containing DEET can help prevent mosquito bites.
- Clothing: Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants can help reduce the amount of exposed skin and the risk of mosquito bites.
- Environmental Control: Eliminating standing water around the home, cleaning drainage systems, and disinfecting any pond around the neighbourhood can help reduce mosquito breeding and the risk of malaria.
In conclusion, even though Malaria is very common and is been taken lightly in many parts of Africa, It still remains a serious disease that affects millions of people each year and should not be downplayed.
Fortunately, it is preventable and treatable. If you are traveling to an area with a high incidence of malaria, it is important to take preventative measures such as using mosquito nets and insect repellent.
If you suspect you have malaria, seek medical attention immediately to receive the appropriate treatment. With the right care and prevention, malaria can be defeated.