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Malaria Tips

Malaria - Know The Symptoms It Leads To!

Dr. Shubham Jaiswal 90% (851 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Delhi
Malaria - Know The Symptoms It Leads To!

Mosquitoes might be tiny creatures, but are responsible for some of the most dreadful diseases, one of them is malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through mosquito bites directly or from mother to unborn baby and through blood transfusions. Very widely spread in the Asian and African continents, people travelling here are very cautious of this disease. In areas that are notorious for mosquito infestations, the local people also take preventive measures to ensure mosquito breeding is prevented or at least minimised.

Spread of the disease: When a mosquito bites an infected person, it picks up the parasite from the person and when it next bites another person, the infection is also transmitted. From there, the parasite travels to the liver and into the bloodstream before reaching another individual. While all people are prone to getting the infection, elderly people, children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people are at greater risk. Also, new travellers are at greater risk than local people, who are to some extent immune to mosquito bites.

Symptoms: The disease is characterised by moderate to severe shaking chills which are more common in the evening, high fever, profuse sweating, headache, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Quite often, there is about a 4-week gap between the time of the mosquito bite and the onset of symptoms. However, in many people, the disease could lie dormant and symptoms manifest when the immunity is severely lowered.
With the gradual progression of the disease, more severe symptoms could evolve as below, and that is when malaria becomes life-threatening.

  1. Cerebral malaria: Once the parasites enter the bloodstream, they can block the minor blood vessels in the brain leading to cerebral oedema and even brain damage. It could eventually result in coma.
  2. Anaemia: There is large-scale destruction of red blood cells, leading to severe anaemia and weakness and fatigue
  3. Breathing problems: Similarly, accumulation of fluid in the lung spaces can lead to pulmonary oedema which causes difficulty breathing and lung failure.
  4. Organ failure: Blood flow blockage to other vital organs like kidneys, liver, and spleen are also possible. The spleen may rupture leading to severe haemorrhage.
  5. Low blood sugar: The malarial parasite per se and the most commonly used medicine (quinine) are both known to cause low blood sugar levels. This can result in coma and even death.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment usually consists of chloroquine, Mefloquine, quinine sulfate, or hydroxychloroquine. There are various drug-resistant forms of malaria, and they may require combination therapy.
Prevention assumes greater significance with travellers going for vaccines prior to visiting these areas. Even the local people should find ways to avoid breeding of mosquitoes, use mosquito repellents and nets to avoid the infection.

PM Modi Wins UN's Highest Environment Award - How Can We Contribute?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Faridabad
PM Modi Wins UN's Highest Environment Award - How Can We Contribute?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron have been chosen to be conferred with UN's highest environmental honour - 'Champions of the Earth' award.

They have been chosen in the Policy Leadership category for their remarkable contribution towards environment through International Solar Alliance (ISA) and promoting new levels of cooperation on environmental action.

Governments of various countries, global ambassadors and social activists have been appealing the world to do their bit for saving the environment but very little awareness has been seen among people. As per a survey conducted by World Health Organisation (WHO), over 12.6 million people lose their lives due to environmental diseases and the numbers are increasing consistently.

There are various causes which add to deterioration of the environment. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Air and sound pollutions
  • Hazardous waste
  • Volatile organic compound
  • Plastic pollution
  • Organic dust toxic syndrome
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Heavy metals
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Noxious gases including nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and sulphuretted hydrogen

It is a well-known fact that poor or unhealthy environment can lead to numerous life-threatening diseases. These diseases include:

  • Stroke
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Cancers
  • Chronic Respiratory Diseases
  • Diarrhoeal Diseases
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Neonatal Conditions
  • Malaria
  • Asthma
  • Smoking-related diseases
  • Diseases caused by toxic or irritant chemicals in the environment
  • Diseases caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation


Environmental issues can also lead to mental disorders like anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder and more.

How can we prevent these environmental diseases?

We can prevent these diseases by learning not to spread any type of pollution and teaching our coming generations to follow these rules of environment.

Here are some other ways which can help in preventing environmental pollution:

  • Completely quitting the use of plastic
  • Saving water
  • Controlling noise pollution
  • Trying to use public transport as much as possible
  • Not wasting a single bite of food
  • Managing hazardous materials effectively
  • Proper solid waste management
  • Planting as many trees as possible
  • Making adequate arrangements for vector control
  • Trying to keep your home, office and surroundings as clean as possible

Here are some ways which can help in keeping yourself safe from environmental pollution:

  • Wearing a mask whenever outside the house
  • Trying to stay away from traffic as much as possible
  • Not having much exposure to sun rays
  • Installing air purifiers at home
  • Planting trees in the garden area

Not only our Prime Minister but each and every one of us will have to contribute our part to make the environment healthy, otherwise soon the only green planet in the universe will also become an uninhabitable planet.

1 person found this helpful

Enjoy Monsoon Carefully

Dr. Anjali 92% (94 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Ghaziabad
Enjoy Monsoon Carefully

Monsoon gives happiness to everyone after months of scorching heat. It also brings many diseases because of sudden change of temperature, contamination of food and water due to breeding bacteria, insects etc 

General care to be taken during monsoon 

• avoid taking outside food 
• have filtered water and fresh food
• avoid collected water in parks, streets etc 
• dry your feet properly if get wet
• avoid overcrowded areas
• keep surroundings clean and dry to avoid breeding of mosquitoes, bacteria etc 
• use mosquito repellents
• special care to be taken by those who suffer from allergies, old people and children

Monsoons can be enjoyed in a healthier way by taking the above precautions.Do not ignore symptoms like fever, cold, cough, diarrhoea etc. 

 

2 people found this helpful

Malaria - Know How This Disease Spreads!

Dr. Rohith P A 90% (56 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Chennai
Malaria - Know How This Disease Spreads!

Mosquitoes might be tiny creatures, but are responsible for some of the most dreadful diseases, one of them is malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through mosquito bites directly or from mother to unborn baby and through blood transfusions. Very widely spread in the Asian and African continents, people travelling here are very cautious of this disease. In areas that are notorious for mosquito infestations, the local people also take preventive measures to ensure mosquito breeding is prevented or at least minimised.

Spread of the disease: When a mosquito bites an infected person, it picks up the parasite from the person and when it next bites another person, the infection is also transmitted. From there, the parasite travels to the liver and into the bloodstream before reaching another individual. While all people are prone to getting the infection, elderly people, children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people are at greater risk. Also, new travellers are at greater risk than local people, who are to some extent immune to mosquito bites.

Symptoms: The disease is characterised by moderate to severe shaking chills which are more common in the evening, high fever, profuse sweating, headache, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Quite often, there is about a 4-week gap between the time of the mosquito bite and the onset of symptoms. However, in many people, the disease could lie dormant and symptoms manifest when the immunity is severely lowered.
With the gradual progression of the disease, more severe symptoms could evolve as below, and that is when malaria becomes life-threatening.

  1. Cerebral malaria: Once the parasites enter the bloodstream, they can block the minor blood vessels in the brain leading to cerebral oedema and even brain damage. It could eventually result in coma.
  2. Anaemia: There is large-scale destruction of red blood cells, leading to severe anaemia and weakness and fatigue
  3. Breathing problems: Similarly, accumulation of fluid in the lung spaces can lead to pulmonary oedema which causes difficulty breathing and lung failure.
  4. Organ failure: Blood flow blockage to other vital organs like kidneys, liver, and spleen are also possible. The spleen may rupture leading to severe haemorrhage.
  5. Low blood sugar: The malarial parasite per se and the most commonly used medicine (quinine) are both known to cause low blood sugar levels. This can result in coma and even death.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment usually consists of chloroquine, Mefloquine, quinine sulfate, or hydroxychloroquine. There are various drug-resistant forms of malaria, and they may require combination therapy.
Prevention assumes greater significance with travellers going for vaccines prior to visiting these areas. Even the local people should find ways to avoid breeding of mosquitoes, use mosquito repellents and nets to avoid the infection. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4796 people found this helpful

Are You Aware Of These Symptoms Of Malaria?

Dr. Dinesh Chandra Pant 87% (320 ratings)
DOMS, MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
Are You Aware Of These Symptoms Of Malaria?

Malaria refers to the disease transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The primary agent of transmission of this disease is the ‘Anopheles’ mosquito. This particular breed of mosquito carries the species causing organism, a parasitic protozoan, known as ‘Plasmodium species’.

The parasite, upon entering the bloodstream, attaches itself to the liver. It is at this location that the parasite matures and after a few days begins to infect the red blood cells that are secreted by the liver. The red blood cells that are infected tend to explode in about forty eight to seventy two hours due to the rapid multiplication of parasites inside them. The subtropical regions and regions that exist in a broad band around the equator are known to be the hotspots of species.

Symptoms

Upon being infected, the symptoms and signs show up within 10 days to 4 weeks. Some of the general symptoms include:

  1. Nausea

  2. High fever

  3. Headache

  4. Extreme sweating

  5. Moderate to severe chills

  6. Vomiting

  7. Anaemia

  8. Diarrhoea

  9. Pain in muscles

  10. Blood in stools

In some cases, malaria can lead to further severe complications, such as:

  1. Kidney, spleen or liver failure

  2. Cerebral malaria (swollen blood vessels in the brain)

  3. Low blood sugar

  4. Pulmonary oedema (fluid accumulation in the lungs which causes breathing difficulties)

The medications administered for malaria depend on factors such as:

  1. Severity of the infection

  2. Physical conditions such as allergies, pregnancy and other health problems,

  3. Age

Some of the most common medicines used to address malaria include:

  1. Chloroquine

  2. Malarone

  3. Doxycycline

  4. Quinine sulphate

  5. Mefloquine

  6. Hydroxychloroquine

  7. A mix of Proguanil and Atovaquone

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3530 people found this helpful

4 Ways To Prevent Miscarriage!

Dr. Ruchi Rai Ahuja 91% (304 ratings)
PhD(breast diseases), MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Chandigarh
4 Ways To Prevent Miscarriage!

Miscarriage is the early loss of foetus within 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is also known as ‘spontaneous abortion’. According to research, about 8-20% of the pregnancies end in miscarriage. Out of the total number of miscarriages, 80% of them end within 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Types of Miscarriages and their Symptoms 

  1. Threatened Miscarriage – As the term suggests, in this condition the process of miscarriage might have begun. This is the initial stage of the process. In threatened miscarriage, there is slight bleeding accompanied by cramps and pain in the lower back, which is usually mild. The cervix (the lower part of the uterus) remains closed. 
  2. Inevitable and Incomplete Miscarriage – In these conditions, there is bleeding along with an open cervix. When there is dilatation and thinning of the cervix, miscarriage is inevitable. In incomplete miscarriage, part of the tissue comes out and a part remains inside the uterus. In inevitable and incomplete abortions, the bleeding and cramps are more severe. 
  3. Complete Miscarriage – Complete miscarriage is when the embryo has completely emptied from the uterus. The pain and bleeding reduce once the foetus is expelled. This can be confirmed through ultrasound
  4. Missed Miscarriage – In Missed miscarriage, there is no sign of the life of the embryo and there is no expulsion of the embryo. It can be detected from the absence of heartbeat of the embryo found on ultrasound. 
  5. Recurrent Miscarriage – It happens when there are two or three miscarriages one after the other. It affects about 1% of the pregnancies. 

Risk Factors 

  1. Increased maternal age i.e., women above 35 years. 
  2. Excess or insufficient chromosome in embryo. 
  3. Placenta is the organ which links mother and the baby for blood supply. Problem in the development of placenta can cause miscarriage. 
  4. Excessive smoking and drinking during pregnancy. 
  5. Obese women have higher risk of miscarriage. 
  6. Long-term health conditions like high blood sugarhigh blood pressure, liver disease etc.
  7. Infections like rubella, malaria etc. 
  8. Weakened cervix, which is the result of previous injury or surgery, can also result in miscarriage. 

What are the symptoms of a miscarriage

  1. Bleeding or spotting can be one of the symptoms of miscarriage. It should be kept in mind that not all pregnant women who suffer from spotting or bleeding, end in miscarriage. 
  2. Lower backache starts before or right after bleeding, which can be persistent or you could have cramps which may be mild or sharp and can feel like more of pelvic pressure. 
  3. Missed miscarriages are detected through ultrasound when the doctor finds that there is no heartbeat of the embryo or when the uterus is not growing. 

What are the treatment options in miscarriage? 

  1. Medical – In most of the cases, there are no specific drugs to stop a miscarriage from occurring. In some cases, certain hormonal preparations help. There is no point in prescribing medicines for prevention of miscarriage if there is heavy bleeding. 
  2. Surgery – Dilatation and evacuation (D&E) is a simple operation which is done under general/local anaesthesia. In this operation, the cervical canal is dilated and contents present in the uterus are evacuated. There is no cutting involved as it happens through the vagina. The process needs only five to ten minutes, but the patient has to stay in the hospital for about 3-4 hours. 

This process is opted when: 

  1. There is heavy bleeding. 
  2. The patient suffers from missed miscarriage. 

What can you do to prevent miscarriage? 

Nothing much can be done to prevent miscarriage in most of the cases. However, following supportive measures may help: 

  1. There should not be overexertion during pregnancy. Moderate amount of physical activity is permissible. 
  2. One should have a well-balanced diet. Studies have shown that a diet loaded with fruits and veggies helps in overall well-being during pregnancy. One should limit the consumption of caffeine. 
  3. Avoid smoking, alcohol and certain drugs to prevent miscarriage. 
  4. Avoid stress and anxiety

Report to a Doctor as soon as any symptom related to miscarriage appears.

5273 people found this helpful

Malaria During Pregnancy - 4 Ways it Can be Treated!

Dr. Anita K Sharma 90% (44 ratings)
MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Noida
Malaria During Pregnancy - 4 Ways it Can be Treated!

Malaria is a disease that is caused by the bite of a certain mosquito or protozoan parasite. This can attack the red blood cells and is mainly found in tropical as well as subtropical areas. Until recently, there was little chance of recovering from this ailment. Yet, in today's day and age of great medical advancement, it has become possible to cure a patient suffering from this disease with the help of timely and proper diagnosis. This disease becomes even more complicated and problematic when it affects pregnant women.

The ways in which this disease can be treated during pregnancy is as follows:

  1. Medication therapy: If woman is found to be suffering from this disease in the second or third trimester of their pregnancy, they may be prescribed artemisinin-based therapy. This therapy can be used only if the pregnant lady is not suffering from any other kind of complications like heart conditions, diabetes and high blood pressure, during the pregnancy. This medicine is short-acting, with artemether or artesunate,which can greatly reduce the number of parasites that may have invaded the red blood cells.
  2. Other antimalarials: The treatment of this disease for pregnant women can also be done with the help of other antimalarials, which should typically be prescribed and administered in a clinical setting. These also include quinidine gluconate which can be used in place of the IV quinine in order to bring down the number of parasites in the body. This will lessen the attack on the red blood cells to a great degree. Lumefantrine tablets may also be used in such cases. Also, the doctor will have to first try a test dose to ensure that the patient is not allergic to any of the elements or compounds of these medicines.
  3. Monitoring: Pregnant women suffering from malaria will need to get their blood samples tested on a regular basis. The blood smears will usually be tested daily to check whether the body is responding adequately to the treatment. This will also ensure that the doctor knows when to change the dose or the drug involved.
  4. Diet and exercise: The patient will be asked to stick to the normal diet and activity levels. Yet, care must be taken to avoid any situation where fatigue might set in, as this can aggravate the condition. One must also increase the intake of water to ensure that the body is always well hydrated. This helps the body in bouncing back to normal as the toxins are continuously flushed out, and the immunity system is better equipped to fight the disease causing parasites.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2911 people found this helpful

मलेरिया के लक्षण

Dt. Radhika 93% (472 ratings)
MBBS, M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
मलेरिया के लक्षण

सबसे प्रचलित संक्रामक रोगों में से एक मलेरिया प्लाजमोडियम कुल के प्रोटोजोआ परजीवी के माध्यम से फैलता है. आपको बता दें कि केवल चार प्रकार के प्लाजमोडियम परजीवी ही मानवों को प्रभावित कर पाते हैं. इन चारों में सबसे ज्यादा खतरनाक हैं प्लाजमोडियम फैल्सिपैरम और प्लाजमोडियम विवैक्स माने जाते हैं. इसके अलावा प्लाजमोडियम ओवेल और प्लाजमोडियम मलेरिये नामक परजीवी भी मानव जीवन को प्रभावित करते हैं. इन सारे समूहों को ही ‘मलेरिया परजीवी’ कहा जाता है.
इस सन्दर्भ में मलेरिया परजीवी के वाहक रूप में मादा एनोफ़िलेज मच्छर है. इसके काटने से ही मलेरिया के परजीवी लाल रक्त कोशिकाओं में प्रवेश करके बहुगुणित होते हैं. इस वजह से रक्ताल्पता, साँस फूलना आदि लक्षणों के साथ सर्दी, जुखाम और उल्टी जैसी अनुभूति देखी जा सकती है. 
1. ठण्ड लगने के साथ बुखार आना
मलेरिया के संक्रमण का सबसे प्रमुख लक्षण है कि अचानक तेज कंपकंपी के साथ ठंड ठंड लगती है और इसके कुछ ही देर बाद बुखार आ जाता है. ये बुखार लगभग चार से छः घंटा तक रहता है और फिर पसीना आकर बुखार उतर जाता है.
2. हर दो-तीन दिन में बुखार आना
दुसरे तरह का संक्रमण जिसे पी. फैल्सीपैरम कहते हैं. इसमें भी शुरू-शुरू में कंपकंपी के साथ ठंड लगती है. इसके बाद आपको 36 से 48 घंटे तक बुखार रह सकता है. ये देखा गया है कि ये बुखार हर दो-तीन दिन में फिर से आ जाता है.
3. तीव्र सरदर्द के साथ बुखार
मलेरिया के कुछ गंभीर मामले जिसके पीछे पी. फैल्सीपैरम ही जिम्मेदार होता है. ये संक्रमण के 6 से 14 दिन बाद होता है. इसमें तिल्ली और यकृत के आकार में वृद्धि, तेज सर दर्द, रक्त में ग्लूकोज की कमी जिसे अधोमधुरक्तता आदि लक्षण दिखाई पड़ते हैं. हलांकि इसमें मूत्र में हिमोग्लोबिन का उत्सर्जन और किडनी की विफलता भी हो सकती है जिसे आमतौर पर कालापानी बुखार कहते हैं.
4. गंभीर मामलों में मूर्छा
युवाओं, बच्चों और गर्भवती महिलाओं को हुए मलेरिया के गंभीर मामलों में काफी कुछ हद तक मूर्छा या मृत्यु की भी संभावना रहती है. कई मामलों में तो मृत्यु कुछ घंटों तक में भी हो सकती है. महामारी वाले क्षेत्रों में मृत्युदर ज्यादा पाई जाती है.

6. हाँथ-पाँव में ऐंठन
कई युवाओं या बच्चों में दिमागी मलेरिया की संभावना ज्यादा पाई जाती है. इसमें दिमाग में रक्त की आपूर्ति में कमी आ जाती है. ज्यादा असर होने पर हाथ-पाँव में अजीब सी ऐंठन भी आ जाती है. कुछ बच्चों का तो मानसिक विकास भी रुक सकता है.
7. कुछ अन्य लक्षण
* कई बार ऐसा भी देखा जाता है कि शरीर की त्वचा धीरे-धीरे ठंडी पड़ने लगती है. ऐसा बुखार के कारण होता है.
* मलेरिया बुखार में अक्सर ही लोगों को उलटी होने या जी मचलने की शिकायत होती है. इसकी वजह से कई बार मन भारी होने लगता है.
* इसके लक्षणों में से एक ये भी है कि आपकी आँखें लाल होने लगती हैं. हो सकता है कि आँखों में थोड़ा जलन भी महूसस हो.
* इसमें आपको थकान भी महसूस होता है. कई बार इस थकान की वजह से कमजोरी भी लगने लगता है.
* कई लोगों में तेज सरदर्द देखा जाता है जो कि धीरे-धीरे बढ़ता है. ये उलटी या थकान की वजह से भी हो सकता है.
* कई छोटे बच्चों में डायरिया की शिकायत होती है. चूँकि बच्चों का प्रतिरक्षा तंत्र कमजोर होता है इसलिए इन्हें ज्यादा परेशानी होती है.

इन लक्षणों के नजर आने पर आपको तुरंत किसी डॉक्टर को दिखाना चाहिए. ध्यान रहे कि समय से अस्पताल जाने पर आपको जल्द ही आराम मिल जाता है. लेकिन वहीँ यदि आप देर करके अस्पताल में जाते हैं तो आपकी बिमारी के साथ-साथ परेशानी भी बढ़ जाती है.

6 people found this helpful

Mosquitoes - 5 Ways You Can Get Rid of Them!

Dr. Mangesh Chandewar 88% (238 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Public Health ( Preventive and Social Medicine)
General Physician, Navi Mumbai
Mosquitoes - 5 Ways You Can Get Rid of Them!

With a number of virus and other mosquito borne disease threats looming in, such as denguechikungunyamalaria and other deadly diseases. The number of cases are on the rise throughout the country, there has been an alarming rise is the use of market bought mosquito repellents. While they are no doubt, very effective, but they also emit gases which can be harmful to us. There exist in our homes, commodities with which we can achieve the same results - to have a mosquito-free home. Few such ways are as follows:

1. Though it might smell bad initially, it is also the reason why mosquitoes will stay away. Crush a few pods of garlic, boil it in water and spray the liquid in the room, especially in the corners.

2. Camphor is easily available and good way to get rid of mosquitoes. Light a little bit of camphor in a room after closing all doors and windows. Leave the room for about twenty minutes and when you go back, your room will be mosquito free.

3. Infuse citronella oil in a candle and burn the candle to have a mosquito free room. Alternatively, you can use the oil in a vaporizer.

4. If you have a garden, plant mosquito repellent plants like lavender, catnip and citronella in the areas near the windows of your house to drive the mosquitoes away.

5. Get rid of all stored water within and around your house. These waters are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you need to store water for the unexpected shortage of water, make sure that you keep changing it.

Sharing is caring. Share this helpful tip with your loved ones by clicking on Share below. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.

5544 people found this helpful

Malaria - Signs You Must Not Ignore!

Dr. Vishwas Madhav Thakur 90% (916 ratings)
MBBS, AFIH, PGDMLS, MD-HRM, MD-HM
General Physician, Gurgaon
Malaria - Signs You Must Not Ignore!

Mosquitoes might be tiny creatures, but are responsible for some of the most dreadful diseases, one of them is malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through mosquito bites directly or from mother to unborn baby and through blood transfusions. Very widely spread in the Asian and African continents, people travelling here are very cautious of this disease. In areas that are notorious for mosquito infestations, the local people also take preventive measures to ensure mosquito breeding is prevented or at least minimised.

Spread of the disease: When a mosquito bites an infected person, it picks up the parasite from the person and when it next bites another person, the infection is also transmitted. From there, the parasite travels to the liver and into the bloodstream before reaching another individual. While all people are prone to getting the infection, elderly people, children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people are at greater risk. Also, new travellers are at greater risk than local people, who are to some extent immune to mosquito bites.

Symptoms: The disease is characterised by moderate to severe shaking chills which are more common in the evening, high fever, profuse sweating, headache, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Quite often, there is about a 4-week gap between the time of the mosquito bite and the onset of symptoms. However, in many people, the disease could lie dormant and symptoms manifest when the immunity is severely lowered.

With the gradual progression of the disease, more severe symptoms could evolve as below, and that is when malaria becomes life threatening.

  1. Cerebral malaria: Once the parasites enter the bloodstream, they can block the minor blood vessels in the brain leading to cerebral oedema and even brain damage. It could eventually result in coma.
  2. Anaemia: There is large-scale destruction of red blood cells, leading to severe anaemia and weakness and fatigue
  3. Breathing problems: Similarly, accumulation of fluid in the lung spaces can lead to pulmonary oedema which causes difficulty breathing and lung failure.
  4. Organ failure: Blood flow blockage to other vital organs like kidneys, liver, and spleen are also possible. The spleen may rupture leading to severe haemorrhage.
  5. Low blood sugar: The malarial parasite per se and the most commonly used medicine (quinine) are both known to cause low blood sugar levels. This can result in coma and even death.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment usually consists of chloroquine, Mefloquine, quinine sulfate, or hydroxychloroquine. There are various drug-resistant forms of malaria, and they may require combination therapy.
Prevention assumes greater significance with travellers going for vaccines prior to visiting these areas. Even the local people should find ways to avoid breeding of mosquitoes, use mosquito repellents and nets to avoid the infection.

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