Learn More About Malaria
Most frequent questions and answers about malaria
Malaria is an infection caused by the parasite plasmodium. Malaria causes high temperature and flu-like symptoms, which can occur up to a year after travelling to an area with malaria.
Prompt treatment for malaria is critical, as it can be a fatal infection.
The plasmodium parasite resides in mosquitos and is transferred to humans when an infected mosquito bites and feeds on a human.
Once in your blood stream, the parasite invades red blood cells, replicates and bursts to spread the infection. Each time the red blood cells burst you experience symptoms of high temperature and sweating.
Malaria infections often present the following symptoms:
- Muscle ache
More severe and long-term infected symptoms can include:
- Behavioural changes
- Kidney failure
Promptly diagnosed malaria can be treated and patients are able to make a full recovery.
The medication prescribed and duration of treatment varies from person to person.
Anti-malarial medicines consist of quinine, chloroquine, artesunate and atovaquone/proguanil.
Rapid diagnostic test or microscopy studies can be used to diagnose malaria.
If you suspect that you have malaria, you should visit the nearest health worker/clinic or hospital for appropriate diagnosis.
Antimalarial medication is usually well tolerated; however, as with all medication, there are some side effects.
Some common side effects may include:
To reduce side effects, you should take the antimalarial tablets after meals.