Malaria is a serious infection caused by malarial parasites. Malaria is transmitted by a mosquito bite. Most cases of malaria in the United States are in immigrants and travelers returning from malaria-risk areas. A few cases are transmitted by blood transfusion, from mother to fetus during pregnancy, or by mosquito bite that occurred in the United States.
Body parts involved
Blood cells; blood vessels; liver; central nervous system.
Sex or age most affected
Both sexes; all ages.
Cause of Malaria
The mosquito becomes infected with malaria after biting a person with the disease. The parasites multiply in the mosquito for a week, then enter the bloodstream of the next person the mosquito bites. Once in a person’s bloodstream, the parasites travel to the liver, where they thrive and multiply rapidly. After several days, thousands re-enter the bloodstream and destroy red blood cells. Some parasite remain in the liver, continue to multiply, and are released again at intervals into the bloodstream.
Living in, or travel to, any country where malaria is a risk. It is most prevalent in rural tropical areas such as found in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
Symptoms of Malaria
The typical attack comprises three distinct stages
- In which there is
- Chilly sensation followed by rigors
- Intense heat
- Flushed face
- Dry and hot skin
- Rapid respiration
- Intense headache
- Temperature rises to 40 degree c or more
- Profuse perspiration
- Temperature drops down rapidly
Symptoms of malaria falciparum
- High fever
- Retinal hemorrhage
- Severe anemia
- Pulmonary edema
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Spontaneous bleeding
- Intractable vomiting
About malaria parasite
Malaria is one of many disease spread by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes are by no means the only arthropods (small animals with joined legs, including the mosquitoes) that feed on human blood and spread disease.
The blood of an animal is a rich source of nourishment for any other organism that can take advantage of it. Small animals, such as mosquitoes and other blood-sucking arthropods, are well adapted to such a lifestyle because they are usually able to make contact with their victims without being detected, grab a quick meal, and disappear without being swatted. Other much larger animals, like the sea lamprey of the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean, readily feed on the blood of large fish like salmon or lake trout. Organisms that feed on the tissues of animals without killing them first are referred to as parasites. Those that do so without actually entering the bodies of their victims are referred to as ectoparasites. Ectoparasites survive by feeding on other animals, but they do not kill them in the process. Mosquito are ectoparasites. There are still other victims and, consequently, inside their nutrient supply. Such parasites do not have to go looking for a meal when they are hungry, nor do they worry much about being eaten by other animals. Such parasites are known as endoparasites. The organism that causes malaria (Plasmodium) is an endoparasite. A problem that theses parasites do face, however, is what to do should their host die. When that happens the parasites within die as well, and it is not in a parasites’s best interest to kill its host. Some endoparasites get around this problem by hitching at ride from one victim to another via an ectoparasite. Such is the case with malaria, which is transported from victim to victim within a mosquito.
Human malaria is always transmitted by a mosquito of the genus Anopheles. There are over 400 species of Anopheles mosquitoes, of which perhaps 60 can carry malaria. Mosquitoes of other genera may carry malaria among other animals, such as birds, but they appear to be incapable of spreading the disease among humans, even if they bite someone who is infected with the parasite. Moreover, malaria that affects other animals can not be transferred to people. A specific relationship appears to exist among each type of malaria, each species of animals it affects, and the mosquito species that carries it. Only human malaria affects people, and only some specific species of Anopheles mosquitoes are capable of transmitting it.
Generally, an endoparasite such as the organism that causes malaria is referred to by biologists as simply a parasite. The mosquito that spreads it is called a vector. The victim within whom the parasite lives is called the host. Although malaria may have been brought under control among American servicemen in the South Pacific in World War II, it affects millions of people worldwide today. As of 2004, 3.2 billion people lived in Malaria-prone areas. Each year there are approximately 100 million new cases of malaria and 1 million deaths associated with it, 850,000 of which are children.
Malaria is a complex disease that may occur in four different forms. The disease is caused by a protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, and it is spread by mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. It has causes illness, suffering, and death, and it has had a major impact on human history. Today, malaria remains a serious medical challenge in much of the world, particularly in Africa.
(Bernard A. Marcus Malaria; 2009; 11-13)
How to prevent malaria
- Take anti malarial drugs before visiting and area where malaria is a risk. Continue to take the drugs after you return. A travel health clinic or your health care provider can give you instructions.
- In mosquito infected areas, wear long sleeved shirts and pants, especially from dusk to dawn. Use a DEET insect repellent on exposed skin. Sleep under a bed net that has been dipped in permethrin insecticide.
- Protect yourself from secondary bacteria infection while you are ill with malaria. Wash your hands often.
- All cases of malaria are reported to the local health department.
Medication for malaria treatment
- One or more anti malarial drugs to kill the parasite will be prescribed. It will depend on the type of malaria diagnosed.
- Take nonprescription acetaminophen for fever.
Rest in bed until fever and chills subside. Resume your normal activities gradually as symptoms improve.
(By H. Winter Griffith, Stephen Moore, Kenneth Yoder: Complete Guide to Symptoms, illness & Surgery Page No. 451)
Malaria treatment with homeopathy
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only confined to malaria treatment but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several medicines are available for malaria treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation, extension and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for the malaria treatment:
China, Arsenic Album, Eupatorium Perf, Natrum Mur, Pulsatilla, Bryonia, Gelsemium, Rhus Tox, Apis Mel, Nux vomica, Malaria Off, Veratrum Alb, Caladium, Cimex, Ferrum Phos and many other medicines.