malaria fever

Understanding Malaria Fever and How to Prevent It

Understanding Malaria Fever and How to Prevent It

Malaria fever is one of the most commonly widespread diseases in the world, especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Generally, malaria is a highly preventable and curable disease if proper actions are taken, with prompt diagnosis and the right treatment given without delay.

Hundreds of millions of people are affected by malaria, of which there are three main types; vivax, falciparum, and malariae.


malaria fever


Simple ways you can use to prevent malaria fever.

  •       First step towards malaria prevention is, if you are traveling to endemic or risk areas seek information and malaria advice from a medical practitioner.
  • Avoid mosquito bites, usually, mosquitoes are night insects that bite between the early hours of the evening through the night.
  • If possible you can avoid sitting outside except absolutely necessary.
  • If you must sit outside put on long trousers with thick socks, and ensure that you cover your skin with clothing properly.
  • You can also use insect repellent.
  • Cautions must be taken when applying mosquito insecticide, to avoid respiratory and other health hazards associated with its usage.
  • Always use mosquito nets to avoid mosquito bites, especially for babies, children and the elderly.
  • You can take antimalarial prevention tablets by visiting a health clinic, especially when travelling to endemic areas.
  •  Immediately seek medical advice if you notice any malaria signs and symptoms, including up to a year after you return from travelling.


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Mode of transmission

The parasite Plasmodium is usually spread by mosquitoes. Which usually moves or bites during the early evening and at night.

It is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito. When the female of this particular species bites it patient who has malaria, she draws up a small quantity of blood containing the parasites.

These parasites then pass through several stages of development within the mosquito’s body and finally find their way to its salivary glands.

There they lie in wait for an opportunity to enter the blood of the next individual.

When mosquitoes attack any one cell each continues to multiply until there may be sixteen within each cell.

As the cell breaks up, these are released. Each tiny parasite then attacks another red cell, thus repeating the cycle every two or three days.

Many of the parasites are destroyed by the defence system of the body, particularly by the white blood cells in the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.

Enough of them survive to cause, plenty of trouble, as every patient with malaria will testify.

Not all strains of malaria parasites are the same. In some parts of the world, certain medicines will quickly destroy the parasites, while the same medicines seem to be far less effective in other parts of the world.

Malaria can be very fatal with permanent damage to the body system if left untreated.

It affects all categories of persons, but it is more severe and dangerous when it affects:

  • Babies and young children
  • pregnant women
  • older people

The incubation period for Malaria Fever

After the mosquito bites its victim usually by the female Anopheles mosquito, a period of time known as the Incubation Period goes by before the first signs and symptoms appear.

The incubation period in most cases varies from 6 to 31 days.

The shorter periods are observed most frequently with P. falciparum and the longer ones with P. malariae.


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Malaria fever attack and its varying signs and symptoms

  • During an acute attack of malaria, the patient often complains of the following:
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Chilling sensations similar to those experienced in an attack of influenza.
  • In more severe cases, the attack  begins abruptly with shivering and  shaking chills
  • Followed by sweating.
  • muscle aches or pains
  • Some persons may experience even diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting may occur
  • Between this paroxysm, the patient usually  feels miserable
  •  The patient then runs a low-grade fever.
  • The temperature may run to 104oF
  • The patient may complain of severe headache
  • He may manifest drowsiness, delirium, and confusion. This is particularly true of the falciparum type, which is the most serious form of malaria.
  • Persistent infections with P. falciparum may also result in severe anaemia. Especially in younger children living in tropical Africa with poor medical care.


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Treatment for malaria fever

With early diagnosis and treatment, most people with malaria will make a complete recovery within a short period.

There are various antimalarial drugs, so it is best you seek medical attention for proper laboratory tests and diagnosis.

This will assist your doctor in prescribing the right effective malaria drug, that will wipe out the disease from your system easily.

With less or no side effects on you, this is true for pregnant women and children.

In more severe cases of malaria fever, hospitalization will be the best option.


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