Malaria Information

Contracting Malaria

Malaria is a potentially fatal disease in developing countries and can affect people of any age traveling to these countries. It is transmitted primarily by the bite of an infective female Anopheles mosquito and is caused by four species of Plasmodium protozoa:

P. falciparum
P. vivax
P. ovale
P. malaria

A Cycle of Infection

The malaria cycle begins with the infection of the mosquito when it bites a person with malaria. The parasite enters the feeding mosquito through the infected person’s blood and develops into the next stage.
When the infected mosquito bites again, the parasites are injected into the person being bitten, spreading the infection.
Once inside a human, the parasites multiply in the liver. Within an average of 2 to 4 weeks, they mature and are released into the blood.
The parasites enter red blood cells (RBCs) and multiply again. Eventually, the RBCs rupture, releasing new parasites to enter new RBCs, repeating the cycle.

Malaria Symptoms

The symptoms of malaria may be mild at first and are similar to the flu, making them difficult to diagnose.
A person with malaria may experience:

1. Headache
2. Muscle aches
3. Diarrhea
4. Fever
5. Chills
6. Vomiting
7. Coughing

Abdominal pain

Symptoms of malaria usually appear 7 to 21 days after a mosquito bite but may appear later. If symptoms occur during travel or after return, you should contact your doctor immediately and inform your current travel and return dates.

Antimalarial Resistance

The number of malaria cases is increasing. This is because the number of areas where malaria occurs is increasing, as is the number of travelers traveling to these areas. This is also due to the parasite becoming increasingly resistant to antimalarial drugs.

Chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum affects most malaria-prone areas
Plasmodium vivax is also reported to be resistant to chloroquine

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