How to deal with Malaria?

Malaria is one of the world’s leading causes of death, causing half a billion people to fall ill, and about 2 million deaths worldwide annually.

Malaria is an infection caused by a unicellular parasite, which penetrates into the bloodstream through the stinging of anopheles-type mosquitoes.

How is the disease transmitted?

The parasites that cause the disease are called Plasmodium. The disease and its symptoms are transmitted by the female mosquito, which carries the spores of the malaria virus in its salivary glands.

When the female stings the patient, she enters the virus, which is in hibernation, into the patient’s bloodstream.

When the virus enters the body, it travels with the bloodstream to reach the liver, and there passes many divisions within the liver cells, and eventually these divisions continue to occur in the red blood cells (Erythrocytes) as well.

During the life of the virus in the blood cells, it penetrates into the red blood cells, and leads to lysis due to the large number of viruses that multiply, which break down the hemoglobin carried by the red blood cells.

As a result of the destruction of red blood cells, toxic substances are released into the bloodstream, these substances cause an immune reaction, and thus lead to symptoms of malaria.

People who spend most of their lives, in countries where the disease rate is high, are vulnerable to infection with the virus many times, and their immune system can deal with the virus, because after exposure to the virus in previous times, the body produced antibodies to this virus.

This resistance is only effective for a few years, and ends if there is no continuous exposure to the virus. These facts make malaria a serious disease for tourists who have never been exposed to the virus.

Malaria, symptoms and treatment of malaria

Symptoms of malaria

 Malaria symptoms generally appear within a few weeks after the mosquito bite. There are certain types of virus that can remain in the liver in hibernation, without causing immediate symptoms. In these cases, the parasite may become effective months and even years after exposure to mosquito bites.

Malaria symptoms may appear 6-8 days after the moment of exposure to the parasite.

Symptoms often include:

  • Fever with chills
  • A sudden temperature drop that can be associated with excessive sweating
  • Unexplained headache and fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal tenderness (difficulty digestion)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling faint when sitting or standing very fast

Complications of malaria

If the disease is not diagnosed in time, and the medicine is not given in time, the patient’s condition may worsen, and complications of the disease are likely to appear such as:

  • Soft tissue damage to the brain, leading to excessive sleep, temporary loss of consciousness, and may even lead to coma.
  • Pulmonary edema ( Pulmonary Edema )
  •  Renal failure (Renal failure)
  • Serious anemia caused by a decrease in red blood cells and a decrease in the production of new cells
  • The patient’s facial skin becomes yellow, in addition to other areas of the body, the color becomes yellow as well, low blood sugar

Diagnosis of malaria

Diagnosis is made through the patient’s medical history (especially if they are found in areas known to be highly infected with HIV), and according to the symptoms the patient feels.

On physical examination, splenomegaly can be detected (this phenomenon is known to be a symptom of malaria).

Simple blood testing enables us to detect the presence of the parasite (Plasmodium) in the blood. In addition, the ability to coagulate the blood , level of platelets and red blood cells, and liver and kidney functions should be examined .

If the patient has been present in areas known to be heavily infected with malaria, has been exposed to mosquito bites, and has symptoms similar to the symptoms of influenza, but tests do not indicate the presence of the malaria parasite in the patient’s blood, then tests must be done 3-4 additional times, in order to ensure that the patient Not infected with malaria.

During drug therapy, tests must be performed again, to follow the course of the disease and to ensure that the number of parasites is declining.

Malaria treatment

Treatment of malaria, part of the drugs are effective in preventing malaria.

But not all medications are equally effective, and there are some medications that are not recommended for use today. The type of medication a patient should receive depends on the type of malaria and the area the patient was visiting.

Most of the medications given today to the person who was exposed to malaria enables us to control the symptoms of malaria.

The patient’s age and health condition are two important factors for choosing a drug to prevent malaria, pregnant women, children, the oldest, people with other medical problems, and people who have never used malaria prevention medication should be treated in particular. Pregnant women who have been exposed to the virus should consult a doctor about appropriate treatment for them, so that the fetus is not exposed to any harm.

Factors that influence the choice of treatment

You have before you a partial list of factors that influence the choice of appropriate treatment:

  • If the drug can be used to prevent or treat the disease.
  • The patient’s condition (age, pregnant woman).
  • The severity of the disease.
  • The geographical location in which the patient was exposed to the disease.
  • Malaria parasite resistance to certain drugs.
  • The patient’s ability to take the drug, without it being dependent on the appearance of side effects or complications.
  • The patient’s ability to take tablets