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Malaria

 

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Malaria is a disease transmitted by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. In spite of India's National Malaria Eradication programme, this disease which had been under control has suddenly made a comeback. The resurgence of malaria is now a heavy burden on India. Most American cases of malaria develop in travelers who have recently returned from parts of the world where malaria is widespread. These prophylactic drug treatments are simply too expensive for most people living in endemic areas. Malaria infections are treated through the use of antimalarial drugs , such as chloroquine or pyrimethamine , although drug resistance is increasingly common.

Malaria is an infectious disease that is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions. Approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by malaria and between 1 and 1.5 million people die from it every year. Malaria is endemic in parts of Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Oceania, and certain Caribbean islands. Of these areas, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest occurrence of P falciparum transmission to travelers from the US. Malaria-carrying Anopheles species mosquitoes tend to bite only between dusk and dawn. Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases and an enormous public-health problem. Malaria remains one of the world's leading infectious killers, particularly of children in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium . The situation has become even more complex over the last few years with the increase in resistance to the drugs normally used to combat the parasite that causes the disease.

Malaria is the most deadly vector borne disease in the world. Malaria is an infection of the blood that is carried from person to person by mosquitoes. Each year in the U.S., there are an average of 1000 imported infections; a few cases of locally acquired, mosquito-transmitted infection from an imported case; and an average of four deaths from falciparum malaria. The parasites multiply within red blood cells , causing symptoms that include fever , anemia , chills , flu-like illness , and in severe cases, coma and death. Malaria-causing Plasmodium species metabolize hemoglobin and other RBC proteins to create a toxic pigment termed hemozoin . The parasites derive their energy solely from glucose, and they metabolize it 70 times faster than the RBCs they inhabit, thereby causing hypoglycemia and lactic acidosis. Unfortunately, no vaccine is currently available for malaria. Instead preventative drugs must be taken continuously to reduce the risk of infection If you're traveling to malaria-endemic places take precautions before, during and after your trip. Treatment for malaria is with antimalarial drugs.

Causes of Malaria

The common Causes of Malaria :

  • This species, found mostly in tropical areas of Asia, produces less severe symptoms but can remain in your liver and cause relapses for up to three years.
  • If this kind of infection goes untreated, it usually lasts for 2-3 months with diminishing frequency and intensity of paroxysms of patients infected with P vivax, 50% experience a relapse in a few weeks to 5 years after the initial illness.
  • Infection with any of these three types of malaria usually is not life-threatening, and a person may recover in a month without treatment.
  • Those infected with this species of Plasmodium remain asymptomatic for a much longer period of time than those infected with P vivax or P ovale recrudescence is common in those infected with P malariae .
  • P. vivax and P. ovale may stay in the liver, requiring further treatment with medicine to prevent relapses.
  • If another mosquito bites an infected person, that mosquito can then carry the infection to someone else.
  • Every year a handful of people are infected through blood transfusions or organ transplants.

Symptoms of Malaria

Some common Symptoms of Malaria :

  • Moderate to severe shaking chills
  • Coma
  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Anemia
  • Stools, bloody
  • General malaise
  • Convulsion

Treatment of Malaria

  • If evidence of life-threatening hemolytic anemia is determined, establish large-bore intravenous (IV) lines, initiate fluid resuscitation, and administer transfusion of type-specific packed RBCs.
  • P.falciparum based infection can be treated with the drug quinine (orally in mild cases or by intravenous infusion in more severe cases).
  • Search for any signs of microvascular malarial complications.
  • In cases of marlarial drug resistance, mefloquine, artemisinin derivatives and malarone can be used.
  • Whether the medicine is being used to prevent or to treat malaria.
  • The most important aspect of home care is to make sure you drink lots of fluids and do not become dehydrated.
  • Your ability to take the preferred medicine without side effects or complications
  • If a patient is diagnosed with P falciparum malaria with a parasitemia greater than 10% or if the patient is experiencing life-threatening complications (ie, coma, respiratory failure, coagulopathy, fulminant kidney failure), then investigate exchange transfusion as a treatment option.