Malaria: Causes, symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.


Overview of  Malaria

Malaria is a disease resulting from a parasite. The parasite is transmitted to people via the bites of inflamed mosquitoes. People who have malaria commonly experience very sick, with a high fever and shaking chills. Every year, about 210 million people are inflamed with malaria, and about 440,000 humans die from the disease. Most people who die from the ailment are younger ones in Africa.

Even as the sickness is uncommon in temperate climates, malaria continues to be common in tropical and subtropical nations. World fitness officials are trying to reduce the occurrence of malaria by using distributing bed nets to assist guard humans from mosquito bites as they sleep. Scientists around the sector are running to expand a vaccine to prevent It.

In case you’re traveling to locations where malaria is not unusual, take steps to prevent mosquito bites by using sporting protective garb, the usage of insect repellents and sound asleep beneath treated mosquito nets.

Life cycle of Malaria Parasite

The natural history of malaria involves cyclical infection of humans and female Anopheles mosquitoes. In humans, the parasites grow and multiply first in the liver cells and then in the red cells of the blood. In the blood, successive broods of parasites grow inside the red cells and destroy them, releasing daughter parasites (“merozoites”) that continue the cycle by invading othr red cells.

The blood stage parasites are those that cause the symptoms. When certain forms of blood stage parasites (gametocytes, which occur in male and female forms) are ingested during blood feeding by a female Anopheles mosquito, they mate in the gut of the mosquito and begin a cycle of growth and multiplication in the mosquito.

After 10-18 days, a form of the parasite called a sporozoite migrates to the mosquito’s salivary glands. When the Anopheles mosquito takes a blood meal on another human, anticoagulant saliva is injected together with the sporozoites, which migrate to the liver, thereby beginning a new cycle.

Thus the infected mosquito carries the disease from one human to another (acting as a “vector”), while infected humans transmit the parasite to the mosquito, In contrast to the human host, the mosquito vector does not suffer from the presence of the parasites

Ecology of Malaria

Where does malaria transmission occur?

For It transmission to occur, conditions must be such so that all three components of the life cycle are present:

  • Anopheles mosquitoes, which able to feed on humans humans, and in which the parasites can complete the “invertebrate host” half of their life cycle
  • Humans. who can be bitten by Anopheles mosquitoes, and in whom the parasites can complete the “vertebrate host” half of their life cycle
  • Malaria parasites.


Climate is a key determinant of both the geographic distribution and the seasonality of these disease. Without sufficient rainfall, mosquitoes cannot survive, and if not sufficiently warm, parasites cannot survive in the mosquito.

Anopheles lay their eggs in a variety of fresh or brackish bodies of water, with different species having different preferences. Eggs hatch within a few days, with resulting larvae spending 9-12 days to develop into adults in tropical areas. If larval habitats dry up before the process is completed, the larvae die; if rains are excessive, they may be flushed and destroyed. Life is precarious for mosquito larvae, with most perishing before becoming adults.

Life is usually short for adult mosquitoes as well, with temperature and humidity affecting longevity. Only older females can transmit infection, as they must live long enough for sporozoites to develop and move to the salivary glands. This process takes a minimum of nine days when temperatures are warm (30°C or 86°F) and will take much longer at cooler temperatures.

If temperatures are too cool (15°C or 59°F for Plasmodium vivax, 20°C or 68°F for P. falciparum), development cannot be completed and malaria cannot be transmitted. Thus, malaria transmission is much more intense in warm and humid areas, with transmission possible in temperate areas only during summer months.

Causes of malaria

It is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people via the bites of infected woman anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors.” there are five parasite species that affects people, and 2 of those species – P. Falciparum and PVivax – pose the greatest risk.

NOTE: In 2017, P. Falciparum accounted for 99.7% of anticipated malaria cases in the WHO African region, in addition to in most of the people of cases within the who areas of south-east Asia (62.8%), the Japanese Mediterranean (69%) and the western pacific (71.9%). P. Vivax is the major parasite within the WHO Region of the Americas, representing 74.1%.

Symptoms of malaria parasite

It’s infection is generally characterized by the following signs and symptoms:

other signs and symptoms includes:

Who is at risk?

In 2017, nearly half of the sector’s populace turned into vulnerable to the disease. Maximum malaria instances and deaths arise in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the who regions of south-east Asia, eastern Mediterranean, western Pacific, and the Americas are also a threat. In 2017, 87 international locations and regions had ongoing malaria transmission.

Some population corporations are at extensively better threat of contracting malaria, and developing the excessive disease, than others. Those include toddlers, kids under 5 years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/Aids, in addition to non-immune migrants, cellular populations and visitors.

National malaria manage programs need to take special measures to guard these populace companies against  infection, deliberating their specific situations.

 Risk of more- sever disease

Lack of knowledge, no access to health care also contribute to malaria death in the world today. People at increased risk of serious disease include:
  • Pregnant Women
  • older adults
  • young children and infants
  • travelers coming from areas with no malaria

Transmission of malaria

In most instances, malaria is transmitted via the bites of girl anopheles mosquitoes. There are extra than 400 different species of Anopheles mosquito; round 30 are malaria vectors of main significance. All of the critical vector species chunk among dusk and dawn. The depth of transmission depends on factors associated with the parasite, the vector, the human host, and the surroundings.

Anopheles mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, which hatch into larvae, in the end rising as grownup mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes seek a blood meal to nurture their eggs.

Each species of Anopheles mosquito has its personal desired aquatic habitat; for example, some decide upon small, shallow collections of clean water, inclusive of puddles and hoof prints, that are abundant for the duration of the rainy season in tropical international locations.
The transmission additionally depends on climatic conditions that can have an effect on the number and survival of mosquitoes, together with rainfall patterns, temperature and humidity.

In many locations, the transmission is seasonal, with a peak all through and just after the rainy season. The epidemics can occur while weather and other situations all of the sudden desire transmission in areas in which humans have little or no immunity to malaria. They can also occur while humans with low immunity move into regions with severe malaria transmission, for example, to locate paintings, or as refugees.

Human immunity is some other important issue, especially among adults in regions of mild or intense transmission conditions. Partial immunity is developed over years of publicity, and at the same time as it by no means presents entire safety, it does reduce the risk that the  infection will reason severe disease. Because of this, most malaria deaths in Africa arise in young ones, while in regions with much less transmission and coffee immunity, all age companies are at risk.

 Prevention of malaria parasite

Vector control is the main way to prevent and reduce the transmission. If coverage of vector control interventions within a specific area is high enough, then a measure of protection will be conferred across the community.

WHO recommends protection for all people at risk of malaria with effective malaria vector control. Two forms of vector control – insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying – are effective in a wide range of circumstances.

Insecticide-treated mosquito nets

Sleeping under an insecticide-treated net (ITN) can reduce contact between mosquitoes and humans by providing both a physical barrier and an insecticidal effect. Population-wide protection can result from the killing of mosquitoes on a large scale where there is high access and usage of such nets within a community.

In 2017, about half of all people at risk of malaria in Africa were protected by an insecticide-treated net, compared to 29% in 2010. However, ITN coverage increased only marginally in the period 2015 to 2017.

Diagnosis of malaria

To diagnose malaria, your doctor will likely review your medical history, conduct a physical exam and order blood tests. Blood tests are the only way to confirm a malaria diagnosis. Certain blood tests can help your doctor by showing:

  • The presence of the parasite in the blood, to confirm that you have malaria
  • Which type of malaria parasite is causing your symptoms
  • If your infection is caused by a parasite resistant to certain drugs

Other blood tests help determine whether the disease is causing any serious complications.

Some blood tests can take several days to complete, while others can produce results in less than 15 minutes.

 Treatment of Malaria

Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria reduces disease and prevents deaths. It also contributes to reducing malaria transmission. The best available treatment, particularly for P. falciparum malaria, is artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).

WHO recommends that all cases of suspected malaria be confirmed using parasite-based diagnostic testing (either microscopy or rapid diagnostic test) before administering treatment. Results of parasitological confirmation can be available in 30 minutes or less. Treatment, solely on the basis of symptoms should only be considered when a parasitological diagnosis is not possible. More detailed recommendations are available in the “WHO Guidelines for the treatment of malaria”, third edition, published in April 2015.

Antimalarial drug resistance

Resistance to antimalarial medicines is a recurring problem. The resistance of P. falciparum malaria parasites to previous generations of medicines, such as chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), became widespread in the 1950s and 1960s, undermining malaria control efforts and reversing gains in child survival.

Protecting the efficacy of antimalarial medicines is critical to malaria control and elimination. Regular monitoring of drug efficacy is needed to inform treatment policies in malaria-endemic countries and to ensure early detection of, and response to, drug resistance.

In 2013, WHO launched the Emergency response to artemisinin resistance (ERAR) in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), a high-level plan of attack to contain the spread of drug-resistant parasites and to provide life-saving tools for all populations at risk of malaria. But even as this work was under way, additional pockets of resistance emerged independently in new geographic areas of the sub-region. In parallel, there were reports of increased resistance to ACT partner drugs in some settings. A new approach was needed to keep pace with the changing malaria landscape.

At the World Health Assembly in May 2015, WHO launched the Strategy for malaria elimination in the greater  sub-region (2015–2030) , which was endorsed by all the countries in the sub-region. Urging immediate action, the strategy calls for the elimination of all species of human malaria across the region by 2030, with priority action targeted to areas where multi-drug resistant malaria has taken root. With technical guidance from WHO, all countries in the region have developed national malaria elimination plans. Together with partners, WHO is providing ongoing support for country elimination efforts through the Mekong Malaria Elimination program, an initiative that evolved from the ERAR.


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