What is Malaria and how is it caused?

What is Malaria

         Malaria is an infectious blood borne disease caused by a protozoa. It is transmitted   through infected mosquitoes  during biting of humans. If untreated, may becomes life threatening disease. The protozoan is plasmodium parasite (vivax, falciparum etc.,) and it is typically transmitted through female Anopheles mosquito which occurs mainly between dusk and dawn.

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Epidemiology

     According to global malaria report of 2016, there were nearly 212 million cases of malaria have been reported worldwide. Nearly 4,29,000 malaria deaths have been recorded. Most of these deaths occured in africa and south east Asian regions. Recently malaria cases have been reduced.

Etiology/ Risk factors

  • Malaria is caused by a protozoa plasmodium parasite, transmitted through female anopheles mosquito.
  • Mostly prevalent in rural areas between dusk and dawn (night time).
  • People with sickle cell genetic disease (Anemia)
  • Patients with HIV infection
  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 5 years of  age
  • Travelling to malaria endemic areas
  • Less Immunity

Pathophysiology

  • Malaria infection mainly develops in two stages in humans, Exoerythrocytic and erythrocytic phase.
  •  Exoerythrocytic phase involves invasion of parasite to liver cells (hepatocytes) as sporozoites.
  • After multiplication, they get released as Merozoites from hepatocytes and reaches Red blood cells/erythrocytes.
  • Erythrocytic cycle begans and multiplication occurs in RBCs, and get released from erythrocytes as Gametocytes.
  • These enter the female anopheles mosquito and starts sexual reproduction forming zygote and finally released as sporozoites from the salivary glands of mosquito through saliva.
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Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever with chills
  • GIT upset with Nausea and Voming
  • Dry cough
  • SweatingHeadache
  • Fatigue
  • Myalgia (muscle pain) and Arthralgia (joint pain)
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Back pain
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Diagnosis

  • Collecting Blood for  blood smear  test
  • Flourescent microscopy
  • ELISA
  • Rapid Diagnostic Test to detect malaria Antigen
  • PCR test

Treatment

  • Quinine, Quinidine
  • Chloroquine
  • Primaquine
  • Amodiaquine
  • Pyrimethamine
  • Tetracyclines like Doxycycline etc.,

Preventive measures

  • Reduce risk of exposure to mosquitoes
  • Use mosquito repellants
  • Always use Bed net to avoid Exposure to mosquitoes
  • Close doors and windows at night
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Natural Remedies

  • Consume Coriander water to cure fever
  • Basil leaves and ginger are anti-inflammatory and provides immunity
  • Cinnomon and oranges boosts your Immune system.
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