Malaria is an intermittent fever caused by four different types of parasites which infect the red blood corpuscles of man and give rise to periodic paroxysms of fever. Enlargement of spleen and anaemia. The transmission of the parasite is by anopheles mosquito.
SYMPTOMS OF MALARIAL FEVER
A malaria infection is generally characterized by the following signs and symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pain and fatigue
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Chest or abdominal pain
Some people who have malaria experience cycles of malaria "attacks." An attack usually starts with shivering and chills, followed by a high fever, followed by sweating and a return to normal temperature. Malaria signs and symptoms typically begin within a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. However, some types of malaria parasites can lie dormant in our body for up to a year.
CAUSES OF MALARIA
Malaria is caused by a type of microscopic parasite. The parasite is transmitted to humans most commonly through mosquito bites.
Mosquito Transmission Cycle
- Uninfected mosquito- A mosquito becomes infected by feeding on a person who has malaria.
- Transmission of parasite- If this mosquito bites anyone in the future,it can transmit malaria parasites to them
- In the liver-Once the parasites enter our body, they travel to our liver where some types can lie dormant for as long as a year.
- Into the bloodstream-When the parasites mature,they leave the liver and infect our red blood cells. This is when people typically develop malaria symptoms.
- On to the next person-If an uninfected mosquito bites us at this point in the cycle,it will become infected with our malaria parasites and can spread them to the other people it bites.
Other modes of transmission
Because the parasites that cause malaria affect red blood cells,people can also catch malaria from exposure to infected blood, including:
- From mother to unborn child
- Through blood transfusions
- By sharing needles used to inject drugs
RISK FACTORS OF MALARIA
The biggest risk factor for developing malaria is to live in or to visit areas where the disease is common. There are many different varieties of malaria parasites.The variety that causes the most serious complications is most commonly found in:
- African countries south of the Sahara Desert
- The Asian subcontinent
- New Guinea, the Dominican Republic and Haiti
Risks of more-severe disease
People at increased risk of serious disease include:
- Young children and infants
- Older adults
- Travelers coming from areas with no malaria
- Pregnant women and their unborn children
Poverty, lack of knowledge, and little or no access to health care also contribute to malaria deaths worldwide.
Immunity can wane
Residents of a malaria region may be exposed to the disease so frequently that they acquire a partial immunity, which can lessen the severity of malaria symptoms. However, this partial immunity can disappear if you move to a country where you're no longer frequently exposed to the parasite.
COMPLICATION OF MALARIAL FEVER
Malaria can be fatal,particularly malaria caused by the variety of parasite that is common in tropical parts of Africa.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 91 percent of all malaria deaths occur in Africa most commonly in children under the age of 5.
In most cases, malaria deaths are related to one or more serious complications, including:
- Cerebral malaria-If parasite-filled blood cells block small blood vessels to our brain (cerebral malaria), swelling of our brain or brain damage may occur. Cerebral malaria may cause seizures and coma.
- Breathing problems-Accumulated fluid in our lungs (pulmonary edema) can make it difficult to breathe.
- Organ failure-Malaria can cause our kidneys or liver to fail, or our spleen to rupture. Any of these conditions can be life-threatening.
- Anemia-Malaria damages red blood cells, which can result in anemia.
- Low blood sugar-Severe forms of malaria itself can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).Very low blood sugar can result in coma or death.
Malaria may recur
Some varieties of the malaria parasite, which typically cause milder forms of the disease, can persist for years and cause relapses.
PREVENTION OF MALARIAL FEVER
If one live in or are traveling to an area where malaria is common,take steps to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn.To protect from mosquito bites
- Must cover skin-Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Apply insect repellant to skin and clothing-Sprays containing can be used on skin and sprays containing permethrin are safe to apply to clothing.
- Sleep under a net-Bed nets, particularly those treated with insecticide, help prevent mosquito bites while you are sleeping.
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR MALARIA FEVER
ARSENIC ALBUM - Best medicine for intermittent fever and chill.Given when fever comes with periodicity every day,every third or fourth day,every fortnight,every six weeks or even once a year. There is pronounced nocturnal aggravation and restlessness.Recommended when symptoms is worse from exertion or after midnight,from cold and damp and better by warmth and prefers warm wraps.Helpful when patient feel externally cold but internally hot and burning.There is sweat with great thirst,dyspnoea or exhaustion.
CEDRON - Useful for regular paroxysms of fever coming at the same hour, with chills in the back and limbs or cold feet and hands.There is burning heat in the hands,pulse is full and accelerated and there a thirst or desire for warm water. Aldo there is shivering and chill with congestion in the head.
CHINA OFFICINALIS - Useful for typical intermittent fever from the marsh miasm.Helpful forf fever of tertian or quartan type.There is chill and heat without thirst and thirst occurring either before or after chill and the chill is followed by long lasting heat, generally stage.Given when face is sallow,yellow with enlarged spleen and there is loss of appetite.Mostly recommended "when sympoms worse every other day"
EUPATORIUM PERF - Useful for malaria with chill is preceded by thirst with great soreness and aching of bones, as if broken.There is vomiting of bile at the close of chill.Useful for scanty sweat and is accompanied by nausea. Patient knows chill is coming on because he cannot drink sufficient water.Useful for fever paroxysm which usually starts in the morning.
NATRUM MUR-Useful for malaria with morning chill with thirst which appears between 9am and 11am. Suited when the patient is chilly,but he is worse in the sun or from heat.There is violent thirst, increase with fever with coldness of the body or many body parts.Recommended when there is continuous chilliness .Also there is constipation and loss of appetite.