• Malaria: symptoms, treatment, prevention, photo

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    What it is? Malaria is a life-threatening infectious vector-borne disease characterized by prolonged febrile seizures with chronic course and relapses.

    It is accompanied by an increase in the size of the liver, spleen, as well as anemia.

    Intensive foci of swamp fever, also called malaria, are concentrated in Africa, where one child dies every 60 seconds from this pathology, in Southeast Asia, in parts of India, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.

    Every year about 3 million people die of malaria.

    Carriers of malaria causative agent

    Malaria pathogens are parasitic unicellular organisms - plasmodia. Of the two hundred known species, about ten are parasitic on humans. Five of them cause malaria and differ from each other in a number of morphological characters. This is Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale and P. knowlesi. The first kind is called the most deadly. In their life cycle, all plasmodia have two hosts: a human and a mosquito.

    When one or another type of pathogen enters the body of the victim, it causes the release of a substance that attracts mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles, which carry the disease. The mosquito gets parasites at a bloodsucking, and then transfers them to another person at a sting.
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    Transmission of malaria depends on:

    • climatic conditions( precipitation, temperature, humidity), which become favorable for the spread of infection;
    • terrain terrain;
    • immunity status;
    • population migration;
    • economic factors;
    • household conditions.
    Infection with malaria can also be blood transfusion, if you use a poorly sterilized syringe with the remains of a patient's blood.

    Symptoms and symptoms of malaria

    The incubation period of malaria, depending on the pathogen, can occur from 1 week to 1.5 months. In some cases, prolonged incubation is not excluded, when the symptoms do not appear throughout the whole year( three-day malaria).

    The first signs mostly occur about 15 days after infection. This prodromal period, which manifests itself as a subfebrile condition, headache, chills, vomiting.

    Malaria symptoms are often mild, and this makes it difficult to make a timely diagnosis. A delay in treatment during the first day can lead to death, if, for example, there was an infection of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Malaria is characterized by periodic acute febrile seizures, followed by febrile intervals. Clinical symptoms are caused by erythrocytic schizogony, during which the malarial plasmodium multiplies, is introduced into erythrocytes and leads to their destruction.

    The attack usually occurs at the end of the prodromal period 3-4 days from its onset and manifests itself in three phases:

    1. 1) Chills. Easy cognition is accompanied by a headache, nausea, sometimes vomiting, acrocyanosis of the nasolabial triangle, blue fingertips. The skin becomes pale, cold and rough. It should be noted that the severity of symptoms can manifest itself in varying degrees. Often it comes to a tremendous chill, lasting from 30 minutes to 3 hours. At a fairly rapid pace, the temperature rises to a high level and a second phase begins.
    2. 2) Heat. This period can last from a few hours to a day or more. When measuring the body temperature, the thermometer column shows 40 - 41 ° C. Such temperature indicators are often accompanied by delirium and convulsions. There is thirst, tachycardia and shortness of breath, the face turns red, and the skin becomes dry and hot.
    3. 3) Pot. The phase is characterized by a critical decrease in temperature, profuse sweating and improvement of well-being. Then comes a deep long sleep. A stable state with normal temperature data can be held for several days depending on the cycle of development of the pathogen. After that, the attack repeats.
    Such attacks last an average of 6 to 12 hours, and in particularly severe cases they last up to a day or more. If the disease is not treated, it progresses and after 3-4 seizures there is an increase in the liver and spleen, anemia develops, weakness grows, the skin becomes pale yellow.


    The diagnosis is based on clinical manifestations and data on a stay in the area where malaria is prevalent.

    The fact that seizures begin at about the same time also has diagnostic significance. But the decisive are the results of laboratory tests, when malarial parasites can be found in a thick drop of blood.

    The study should be conducted to all people with fever, if they came from the tropics.

    Treatment of malaria

    Treatment is performed with antimalarial drugs, the choice of which depends on the type of plasmodia. Most often appointed hingamin, plakvenil, bigumal, quinine, mefloquine.

    Together with the specific treatment of malaria, pathogenetic therapy is also shown, which is aimed at normalizing water-electrolyte metabolism, reducing the permeability of the vessel walls.

    Antihistamines, diuretics, corticosteroids, sodium chloride and glucose solutions are used. According to the indications, blood transfusion or erythrocyte mass is possible.

    The problem of treatment is the resistance of the pathogen to antimalarial drugs, which complicates efforts to combat malaria.

    Complications of malaria

    With timely and correct therapy, complete recovery is possible. The mortality rate in this case is approximately 1%.In most cases, the lethal outcome is the result of complications. The most frequent and severe of them is cerebral edema, acute renal failure, malarial coma. Mental disorders occur less often.

    Malarial coma is often diagnosed in the absence of treatment and is manifested by drowsiness, comparison with a background of high fever. To prevent a lethal outcome, urgent therapy is necessary. As a result of renal insufficiency, nitrogenous slags build up in the blood, the development of an infectious-toxic shock is possible.

    Brain edema develops with a lightning-fast form of malaria usually in children. Suddenly, during a fever attack, a severe headache begins, and convulsions appear. As a result of disruption of the work of the respiratory and vascular centers, cardiac activity and respiratory arrest stop, which leads to death.

    Also in childhood at a height of temperature rise in tropical malaria, mental disorders can occur in the form of mental disorders and hallucinations.


    Preventive actions consist in the early detection and treatment of patients, as well as in the control of vectors of pathogens. The latter activity is the main way to reduce the level of malaria transmission in individual communities.

    Before traveling to a country where malaria is common, the following questions need to be clarified:

    • whether a particular area is dangerous for infection;
    • for which season the greatest risk of infection occurs;
    • susceptibility of the pathogen to specific drugs.
    When entering the foci with high endemicity, a prophylactic intake of antimalarial drugs( chloroquine, mefloquine) is recommended. These drugs need to be taken not only before the trip, but also the entire period of stay in the hearth with the risk of infection, and also a month after the departure.

    In regions where malaria is common, mosquito protection measures should be applied:

    • to treat open areas of the body with repellent;
    • to sleep in premises with a mosquito net;
    • spray indoor insecticides;
    • establish protective canopies over the bed;
    • select clothes that leave as few open body parts as possible.
    Great prevention is also the elimination of mosquito breeding sites.

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