MALARIA: SYMPTOMS, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Malaria is a life-threatening tropical disease that is mainly caused by a parasite through mosquitoes. It is caused by the plasmodium parasite which is spread by the female anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria isn’t a contagious disease but it can be transmitted through organ transplant, from a pregnant mother to an unborn baby, blood transfusion, and the unhygienic practice of sharing needles.
The World Health Organization stated that malaria is a preventable and curable disease, though with the right treatment. However, 76% of the Nigerian population resides in high transmission areas, with 24% living in low transmission areas. The transmission season goes on throughout the year in the Southern part of the country and for a maximum of 3 months in the Northern part of the country. The primary vector in this region of the country is the Anopheles Mosquito.
The common symptoms of malaria are chills, sweating, and fever. Other symptoms which people may experience are headaches, shivering nausea or vomiting, fast heart rate, fatigue, or nausea.
In diagnosing a patient with Malaria, the Doctor will carry out a review of the patient’s medical history, conduct a physical examination or carry out a blood test. The blood test is very useful for indicating;
- If you have the Malaria parasite
- The type of Malaria parasite that brought about the symptoms
- If the infection is caused by a drug resistant parasite
- Whether the disease is triggering serious complications
Treatment for Malaria should be commenced as soon as possible. A prescription will be given to you kill the parasite. It is important to note that certain parasites are resistant to malaria drugs, so the sort of medication and treatment will be highly dependent on the parasite causing the symptoms you are experiencing. Other factors that your treatment is dependent on are your age and pregnancy status.