Understanding The Basic Facts About Malaria

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a disease that is caused by a parasite that lives a part of its life in mosquitoes and another part in the human body. As of today, Malaria remains the top most cause of death in the world. It is a big threat to the lives of more than one-third of the entire world’s population. The climatic condition of the tropical areas of Africa, Asia, South and Central America is favourable for the carrier of this parasite; hence, it is a common disease in this area. Each year about 500 million people are attacked by this parasite and more than a million loss their lives to this parasite. Sadly, most of those whose lives the parasite claim are children.

In countries like the United State of American and other temperate regions, malaria has been totally eradicated. However, people who travel from these countries to regions where malaria is still in existence can easily be affected by this parasite.

Causes of Malaria

Malaria is caused by a single celled parasite. This parasite is from the genus Plasmodium. There are hundred different species in this genus and are responsible for the occurrence of malaria in humans, animals as well as bird. Among these 100 species, only four of them are able to affect humans. Each of them affects humans independently and it is possible for two of the species to affect a person simultaneously.

The species are;

  1. Plasmodium Vivax

This specie was once common to the temperate region. This specie is widespread and is found in most geographic area. Now, their occurrence is mostly in Asia. This Plasmodium Vivax is responsible for Malaria Relapse that is capable of reoccurring in a person for 3 years. The malaria that resulted from this specie of plasmodium is not severe.

  1. Plasmodium Malariae

This is commonly found in Africa. It can stay in the human body for years without showing any symptoms. It can be transferred through blood donation and mosquito bites. The temperate region has succeeded in wiping away this Plasmodium but despite all the efforts of the world Health Organisation (WHO), it has persisted in Africa and has also become resistant to some of the insecticides and measures that caused it to be wipe off in the temperate regions.

  1. Plasmodium Falciparum

This is the cause of most death that has occurred, especially in Africa. This parasite develops quickly and shows immediate symptoms. It can be life threatening and lead to numerous medical complications. However, with effective and prompt treatment, it is treatable and curable.

  1. Plasmodium Ovale

This is the rarest of all the plasmodium species. It has the capability of causing relapse and is common in West Africa.

Symptoms of Malaria

The symptoms of malaria will begin to appear in a victim within 10 to 15 days from the time a person is infected by plasmodium. These symptoms include headache, fatigue, occasional nausea, vomiting, muscular pains and diarrhoea. These symptoms are accompanied with a rise in temperature and sweating.

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By Edward