Malaria is an infective diseases caused by the parasite plasmodium. It is transmitted to the host through the bite of the female anopheles mosquito. There are various species of the plasmodium parasite however the major causative ones are the plasmodium vivax, plasmodium falciparum, and plasmodium ovale and plasmodium malariae. Malaria is more prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions. However it still persists to be a major cause of mortality in developing countries. As per the recent updates given by the world health organization malaria accounted for 660,000 deaths worldwide.

Causes and risk factors

The anopheles mosquito bite transmits the parasite into the human blood. In the liver cells the parasite reproduces asexually further infecting the red blood cells and giving rise to a set of symptoms.

When the uninfected mosquito bites the carrier of the parasite, it becomes infected and thus become a potent carrier to transmit the disease to another person.

The infection can also be transmitted due to transfusion of the blood infected with the parasite.

Certain risks factors have also been laid down. People suffering from diseases like tuberculosis, HIV where the immunity is compromised they are at high risk for developing the infection.

Poor sanitary areas are more prone for such infection.

Clinical presentation:

The cardinal symptom of malarial infection is the periodic occurrence of sudden shivering and fever followed by sweating. These symptoms usually occur 9-28 days after the parasitic infestation. The other common complaints with which the patient can come up are fever, headache, body ache, pain in joint, vomiting along with pain in abdomen.

In certain severe cases the person can land up into various complications like the respiratory distress, anemia, and seizures. In non complicated cases with appropriate treatment recovery is achieved in a week or so.

Apart from plasmodium ovale and malaria, infective cases due to plasmodium falciparum are increasing. It can lead to fatal conditions like liver and renal failure or even coma.


The diagnosis is confirmed on the basis of the symptoms narrated by the patients and certain physical examination is carried by the doctor. Certain sets of investigations can also be advised which will aid in the confirmation of the disease.

The malaria antigen detection test is the diagnostic investigation advised. The other tests include the complete blood count and urine routine.

Laboratory blood tests like thick and thin smears during the episode of fever and chills along with the immunochromatographic dipstick or rapid card test helps in spot diagnosis.


The first line of treatment consists of administration of anti malarial medications. Quinine is the drug of choice.  However since resistance to this drugs have been noted new drugs in combination are advised by the expert faculty. Depending upon the symptoms severity hospitalization and intravenous fluid administration is initiated.

Vector control is the only preventive method for malaria. Along with this use of mosquito repellants, bed nets and long sleeved covered clothes can be helpful to prevent oneself from the mosquito bite. Proper hygiene and maintenance of sanitation should be adopted.

Other Modes of treatment:

Certain other modes of treatment can also be helpful in coping up the disease. Taking into consideration the symptoms in holistic way, homoeopathy can offer a good aid for the relief of the symptoms. The Ayurvedic system of medicine uses herbal and certain synthetically prepared medicines. These can also be effective to combat the symptoms.

Recent updates:

Eradication of the mosquito is the important preventive measure which has been adopted worldwide.

Development of malaria vaccine is one of the important areas under development. The World health organization states that due to the complexity of the malarial parasite development of the malarial vaccine is a difficult task .Intense researches are still going on in this field however commercially vaccine for malaria is not available.

Since 1970 the vaccine trials have been implemented but no positive result have been seen hence WHO strongly recommend the adoption of the cautious methods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Best Of Health, wellness & Fitness Delivered To Your Inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest product updates, information & exclusive offers