Medical Encyclopedia

Malaria

What is malaria?

Malaria is an acute infectious disease, which is characterized by febrile seizures, enlarged liver and spleen, anemia. Carriers - the female Anopheles mosquito. This disease is common in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. In Europe, the active foci are in the south of France. Endangered centres are found in Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece.

Symptoms of malaria

  • Headache.
  • Pain in the limbs.
  • Fever, chills.
  • Regular changes in body temperature.
  • Pain in the upper abdomen.
  • Muscle rigidity.
  • Impaired consciousness.
  • Vomiting blood.
  • Acute vascular insufficiency.

Causes of malaria

Malaria is caused by four types of protozoa - single-celled parasites - malaria parasites that enter the saliva of mosquitoes to humans. According to the frequency and strength of fever there are three types of malaria. The three-day malaria (Latin malaria tertiana), the causative agent of which is Plasmodium (Latin Plasmodium vivax), - common form of malaria. After lowering the temperature a day attack of illness begins again. When quartan (Latin malaria quartana), the causative agent of which is Plasmodium (Latin Plasmodium malariae), before repeating the attacks there is no temperature for two days. In tropical malaria (Latin malaria tropica), which is caused by the sickle-shaped plasmodium (Latin Plasmodium falciparum), there is irregular bouts of fever. Bouts of fever may be repeated.

Treatment of malaria

Malaria

In a sudden fever, and chills after returning from tropical countries, you must immediately seek medical attention.

For suspected malaria doctor do a blood test (infective often can be detected with a microscope). Since only infectious disease specialists can diagnose and treat the disease, the patient should be hospitalized. Depending on the type of parasite doctor prescribes medication. Quinine is the basis of the drugs, which is used in treatment of malaria. Today, if malaria is cured, it rarely causes death.

Course of the disease

The incubation period of malaria - 8-20 days. The initial stage of the disease (3-5 days) like flu: fever body, headache and pain in the limbs, vomiting and diarrhea are possible. Within 1-2 hours the temperature increases to 40°C and above, there is fever, decreased urine output, delusions (febrile delirium) begins. After 2-3 hours the body temperature suddenly drops, sweating and thirst increase, after which the person usually feels exhausted. After 10-12 attacks, the disease is over, but a few months later, as a rule, is repeated.

Is malaria a dangerous disease?

Jungle malaria can affect the liver, brain, and kidneys. Without treatment, coma can occur due to blockage of the capillaries of the brain.

If falciparum malaria is untreated, death occurs within hours or days as a result of heart failure.

Prevention of malaria

Before travelling to countries, where malaria occurs, you must purchase preventive medications, which are taken before the trip and after. Mosquito nets, sprays and clothing to some extent, also prevent the mosquito vectors.

Other articles:

Q fever

Giardiasis