Malaria: Signs and symptoms to watch for

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Malaria: Signs and symptoms to watch for

Posted on : Wednesday 18th of October 2017

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Malaria is one of the most prevalent problems during the monsoon season. Old or young, you are susceptible to this disease, especially if you live in areas that have high potential for mosquito breeding. According to National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, there were 7,16,213 confirmed cases of malaria in India in 2016. Of these, 331 patients died due to complications related to the disease.

So, how can you protect yourself from this disease? Keeping an eye out for common signs and symptoms can help you detect a case of malaria before it gets too serious. While symptoms vary from one person to the next, here are some things to look out for:


High fever


Profuse sweating




Muscle pain

Bloody stool


How is malaria caused?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is transmitted via an infected female Anopheles mosquito, carrying the Plasmodium parasite. It is most commonly found in tropical and subtropical climates like ours, which are ideal for parasites. Malaria can also pass from a mother to her child at the time of birth.

What does the parasite do?

When a malaria-infected mosquito bites a human, it transmits the Plasmodium parasite into the individual's blood. This parasite then infects the liver cells where it reproduces. The liver cells then burst open releasing the parasite into the blood stream, where it reproduces again and destroys blood cells. It could take up to 2 to 3 days for malaria symptoms to appear.

Steps to take if symptoms appear?

If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms of malaria, consult a doctor immediately. You may be required to take several blood and physical tests to determine if you do have malaria. It is important to note that there are different types of malaria. Thus, treatments could differ in some cases, as some strains of the parasite are resistant to certain types of drugs.

What can trigger a more serious malaria attack?

If you have a drug-resistant parasite in your body or your immune system is not strong, the situation can become life-threatening. The parasite can cause swelling in the blood vessels of the brain, also known as cerebral malaria. It can even cause pulmonary edema, which is an accumulation of fluids in the lungs. It can cause kidney and liver failure, and blood sugar levels may decrease drastically, causing long-lasting damage to the body.

As there is no vaccination available for malaria, you must take extra care to avoid mosquito bites. You can use liquid-based electric mosquito repellents or card based repellents, which can drive these pesky insects out of the home and keep them out. Mosquito nets also work well against mosquitoes. Wearing full-sleeve shirts and covering as much of your body as possible while going out could also work. Remove stagnant water from around your home, and clean out empty pots and air coolers so that mosquitoes cannot breed there.

By keeping a few points in mind and taking the necessary precautions, you can successfully prevent yourself and your loved ones from getting malaria.

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