Malaria continues to be a growing epidemic worldwide, with the majority of cases occurring in South Asian and African countries. Characterized by a high fever, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms, many people overlook the signs and believe them to be the flu or a severe cold. However, if left untreated, serious complications, such as death can occur.
Caused by a parasite, malaria is most commonly transmitted by a mosquito bite. Malaria can be transmitted through blood products or non-sterilized medical equipment, such as needles or syringes, contaminated with infected blood. However, transmission through these routes is less frequent. Malaria is stored in the red blood cells once infected, which is why these other transmission routes are possible.
Malaria is diagnosed through a blood sample that is evaluated under a microscope, specifically searching for the malaria parasite. Treatment involves prescription medications to treat malaria. However, symptom management may be indicated as well, seeing as hospitalization is common in those who did not seek immediate treatment. Malaria symptoms usually become noticeable within seven to ten days after infection, per the Center for Disease Control (CDC). However, it also reported that symptoms could be delayed up to a year after infection.
If you live in an area that has frequent outbreaks of malaria, or if you are going to another country where malaria is prevalent, take precautions. For example, use bug spray, sleep under netting, and take malaria medication before going to a country where the parasite is widespread. If you believe that you or a family member have been infected, speak with a physician at Shifa4U today.