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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Malaria

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview
Red blood cell infection caused by a bite of a female mosquito of the genus Plasmodium. The four Plasmodium species that cause malaria are P. falciparum being the most dangerous, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and sometimes caused by monkey malaria parasite, P. knowlesi which is common in Southeast Asia.
Symptoms
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Chills
  • Sweats
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

 

At first the fevers appears at random, but may become periodic with time. For P. vivax and P. ovale it occurs at 48-hour intervals, with P. malariae at 72-hour intervals. While P. falciparum usually does not cause a periodic fever.

Risk Factors
  • People living in tropical to subtropical areas where malaria is endemic.
  • People traveling to endemic regions from areas with no malaria.
  • Pregnant women and their children.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Atovaquone-proguanil
  • Arthemeter lumefantrine
  • Chloroquine sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine
  • Quinine antibiotic (tetracycline, clindamycin, doxycycline, erythromycin) primaquine
    • Doxycycline, tetracycline: Should not be used by pregnant women or children younger than 8 years old.
    • Primaquine: contraindicated in patients with G6PD deficiency.
Treatment and Management
  • Eliminate breeding sites (stagnant water) and keep your community clean.
  • Use mosquito netting beds.
  • Apply mosquito repellants.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in known malaria endemic areas.
  • Take chemoprophylaxis for people traveling in endemic areas.
Home Remedies
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