Malaria is an infectious disease that is spread through mosquito bites. Malaria sufferers will complain of symptoms of fever and chills.
Although it is easily transmitted through mosquito bites, malaria can be completely cured if treated appropriately. But if left untreated, the disease can be fatal from causing severe anemia, kidney failure, to death.
What Is Malaria Disease?
Malaria is a serious and dangerous type of disease caused by Plasmodium-type parasitic infection.
Generally, such parasites are transmitted through mosquito bites, especially by the Anopheles mosquito. One of the most common types of Plasmodium parasites causing the disease is P. Falciparum.
Here are 5 types of Plasmodium parasites that trigger this disease:
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Plasmodium vivax
- Plasmodium ovale
- Plasmodium malariae
- Plasmodium knowlesi
If the Anopheles mosquito is infected by Plasmodium and bites you, it can be transmitted and released into your bloodstream. Parasites will develop in the liver, and in a few days will begin to attack your red blood cells.
When you begin to become infected, the signs and symptoms of the disease will begin to appear after 10 days to 4 weeks. However, sometimes symptoms can also appear 7 days after you are infected. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, and vomiting.
If not treated immediately, complications that may arise with the disease are anemia and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). In more serious cases, sufferers may experience cerebral malaria, in which blood vessels leading to the brain are blocked and at risk of death.
Malaria disease symptoms
The symptoms of malaria arise, at least 10-15 days after being bitten by mosquitoes. The appearance of symptoms through three stages for 6-12 hours, namely chills, and fever, then sweating a lot and limp before the body temperature returns to normal. Stages of malaria symptoms can arise following a certain cycle, namely once every 3 days (tertiana) or once every 4 days (quartana).
Some other symptoms that can be found also, namely:
- Fever: is periodic because it is related to the rupture of the schizont that secretes various antigens. The process of maturation of schizont differs by type of Plasmodium.
- P. Falciparum (fever almost daily)
- P. Vivax / Ovale (fever every 3 days / tertiana)
- P. Malariae (fever every 4 days / quartana)
- Splenomegaly: is a symptom of chronic malaria.
- Anemia: occurs due to rupture of infected erythrocytes or not.
- Ikterus: due to hemolysis and hepatic disorders.
- Other systemic symptoms: headache, vomiting, nausea, muscle aches.
Malaria Disease Causes and Risk Factors
Malaria is usually caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes that develop in regions with tropical and sub-tropical climates. Mosquitoes carrying Plasmodium can infect a person’s blood easily through bites. Once the parasite is in the bloodstream, it will move to the liver and infect red blood cells, thereby causing an effect.
Therefore, the symptoms of malaria will begin to appear. Although these malaria-causing parasites have a variety of types, only five of them can cause malaria in humans.
Plasmodium is consists of many species, but commonly transmitting malaria are P. Vivax, P. Falciparum, P. Malariae, P. Ovale, and P. Knowlesi. The plasmodium life cycle consists of se**xual phases inside the body of female anopheles mosquitoes as definitive host and as**exual phases in the human body.
Malaria disease complications
Malaria is a serious disease that can be fatal if not immediately diagnosed and treated. The effects of malaria are usually more severe if it occurs in pregnant women, the elderly, children, and infants.
Some serious complications from malaria, including:
- Severe anemia. Red blood cells cannot carry enough oxygen throughout the body. This causes drowsiness and the sufferer feels limp.
- Cerebral malaria. In rare cases, small blood vessels leading to the brain can be blocked. It causes seizures, brain damage, and coma.
- Failure of organ function. Malaria can result in kidney failure, failure of liver organs, and rupture of the spleen organs.
- Respiratory distress. Fluid buildup in the lungs that will make it difficult for you to breathe.
- Hypoglycemia. Abnormal blood sugar levels.
- Blood pressure dropped suddenly.