Malaria is a vector borne infectious disease caused by-
- eukaryotic protist of the genus Plasmodium.
- Usually people get malaria by- being bitten by, infected female Anopheles mosquito. Only Anopheles mosquito can transmit malaria and they must have, been infected through previous blood meal; taken on an infected person, a small amount of blood is taken; which contians microscopic malaria parasites.
- About one week later- when the mosquito takes, its next blood meal; these parasties mix with, the mosquito's saliva and are injected into, the person being bitten. The parasites multiply, with in red blood cells; causing symptoms.
There is cyclical occurance of-
- sudden coldenss,
- followed by- rigor and then,
- fever and sweating 4 to 6 hours, occuring every two days in P. vivax and P. ovale infection; while every three for P. malariae. P. falciparum can have reccurent fever, every 36-48 hours or less pronounced and almost contoius fever, anaemia, as well as other general symptoms; such as fever, chills, nasuea, flu like illness
- and in severe cases, coma and death.
The period between the bite of an infected mosquito and the onset of the illness-
is usually 7 to 21 days; but this period may be longer, if anti-malaria
When tests are done to determine, the possibilty of malaria infection; it is important to, keep in mind that
a negative test result, does not rule out; the possiblity of malaria.
- Serology detects- antibodies against, malaria parasites.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is, currently most accurate test and can identify, low levels of infection; not detectable by other methods.
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