What is Malaria?

Malaria is a disease transmitted by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. In spite of India’s National Malaria Eradication Program, this disease which had been under control has suddenly made a comeback. The resurgence of malaria is now a heavy burden on India.

Clinical Features of Malaria

1. Initial Phase: Unwell feeling, headache, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, muscle aches followed by fever suggests a flu-like syndrome.

2. Sometimes malaria presents as severe headache, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pains, body ache and diarrhea with moderate fever.

3. Classic malaria features depend upon the type of parasite involved. Symptoms develop one to four weeks after an infected mosquito bite.

(a) Cold Stage: Extreme shivering with teeth chattering.
(b) Hot stage: An hour later, burning fever 1030C, headache, nausea, giddiness, severe body ache, delirium.
(c) Sweat Stage: Profuse sweating and a fall in temperature.

4. Spleen may be enlarged in chronic malaria cases. Anemia is present due to large-scale destruction of RBC’s by the malaria parasite.

Management of Malaria

1. Complete bed rest.
2. Plenty of oral fluids.
3. Consult a doctor.

Prevention of Malaria

1. Use of mosquito nets.
2. Use of insect repellants.
3. Malaria vaccination.

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