Malaria Treatments & Managements

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a disease caused by the plasmodium parasite and transmitted through female anopheles mosquitoes carrying the parasite. There are different species of plasmodium, and each of them causes symptoms worse than others. The infection only enters into the human body through blood, so it can also be transmitted through childbirth, shared needles, and blood transfusions.

The plasmodium parasite is said to thrive in tropical regions, and they have a low chance of surviving in cold areas. It is most prevalent in Africa, and more than 1.5 million cases are still being reported annually in the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria. Malaria is best treated by a medical professional and is generally spread by animals or insects.

This condition is not self-diagnosable rather, it requires a medical examination, which includes laboratory tests and imaging. Symptoms start to occur between seven days to several months after the parasite has entered the body. With the right treatment, the plasmodium infection usually resolves within days to weeks. On rare occasions, the infection may worsen to become severe malaria, causing health complications that may be life-threatening.

Within two to three days before symptoms occur, the parasite makes its way into the red blood cells, where they start to grow. The effect of these invaders is the inflammation [1] of the erythrocytes, damaging them. Plasmodium continues to damage the red blood cells, resulting in symptoms that usually occur in cycles, lasting up to forty-eight to seventy-two hours at a time. This is an attack against the immune system, and because of the shortage of red blood cells, the body system starts to malfunction. Some of the symptoms of malaria include chills or shakes, fever (spike in temperature), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, seizures, and fatigue.

People traveling to regions where malaria is prevalent are advised to take protective drugs before, during, and after their journeys. Here is a list of treatment and management options for malaria: