What are the signs and symptoms of malaria?
Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells. Infection with one type of malaria, P. falciparum, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma, and death.
How soon will a person feel sick after being bitten by an infected mosquito?
For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although a person may feel ill as early as 8 days or up to 1 year later. Two kinds of malaria, P. vivax and P. ovale, can relapse, and some parasites can rest in the liver for several months up to 4 years after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, when these parasites come out of hibernation and begin invading red blood cells.
How is malaria diagnosed?
Malaria is diagnosed by looking for the parasites in a drop of blood, which is put onto a microscope slide and stained so that the parasites will be visible. Any traveler who becomes ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling and up to 1 year after returning home should immediately seek professional medical care.
Who is at risk of malaria?
Persons living in, and travelers to, any area of the world where malaria is transmitted may become infected
What are the different treatments?
Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs. The type of drugs and length of treatment depend on which kind of malaria is diagnosed, where the patient was infected, the age of the patient, and how severely ill the patient was at start of treatment.
However, the best treatment for malaria is to prevent acquiring it, which can be done by sleeping under mosquito nets, and preferably insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).