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What is Malaria? Cause, Symptoms and Treatment

Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment of Malaria – Malaria is an acute febrile infectious disease transmitted by the female bite of the Anopheles mosquito, infected by Plasmodium.


Transmission occurs after the female of the Anopheles mosquito, which has been infected by protozoa of the genus Plasmodium. In Brazil, three species are associated with malaria in humans: P. vivax, P. falciparum and P. malariae.

The protozoan is transmitted to man by blood, usually through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, infected by Plasmodium or, more rarely, by another type of medium that puts the blood of an infected person in contact with that of a healthy person, such as sharing of syringes (drug users), blood transfusion or even from mother to fetus in pregnancy.


Symptoms of Malaria

The most common symptoms are chills, high fever (at first continuous and then every three days), headaches and muscle, tachycardia, enlargement of the spleen and sometimes delusions. In the case of P. falciparum infection, there is also a 10-fold chance of developing what is called cerebral malaria, responsible for about 80% of the lethal cases of the disease. In addition to the current symptoms, there is slight stiffness in the neck, sensory disturbances, disorientation, drowsiness or excitement, seizures, vomiting and headaches, and the patient may reach a coma.


Malaria Treatment

The decision on how to treat the patient with malaria should be in accordance with the Manual of Malaria Therapy, edited by the Ministry of Health, and be guided by the following aspects:

  • Species of Plasmodium depending on the species of Plasmodium the patient will receive a type of treatment
  • The severity of the disease – by the need for injectable drugs of faster action on the parasites, aiming to reduce lethality.

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