What is Malaria
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What is Malaria?

Malaria disease affects millions of people every year. It is also a significant burden on global health and healthcare systems. But what causes the disease and why?

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What causes malaria?

The Plasmodium parasite entering the blood system causes Malaria. As a result, malaria infection is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. There are hundreds of different types of Plasmodium parasites, with four being particularly prevalent in human malaria infections. These are falciparum (most noteworthy, this is the most severe of the four), vivax, ovale, and malaria.

When the parasite enters the body, it finds the liver and lodges itself there. It then begins to multiply exponentially. After a two week incubation period, the parasite enters the bloodstream. It infects red blood cells; as a result, people are starting to cause malaria symptoms.

How is malaria transmitted?

Most cases are mosquito-borne. The female Anopheles mosquito carries and transmits the Plasmodium parasite. This type of mosquito is found primarily in tropical and subtropical climates. And they are the most active between 9 PM and 5 AM.

Humans rarely transmit malaria disease. Therefore, people with the disease are not contagious, as the parasite does not reside in their saliva. However, transmission can occur during blood transfusion and organ donation. Very rarely, malaria can also be transmitted congenitally or from animal to human.

What are the symptoms?

It can take a while before any disease symptoms show up. They may begin ten days to 4 weeks after infection. Therefore traveler malaria is hard to diagnose.

The symptoms include fever, headache, and vomiting. In severe cases, the disease can develop complications. These include anemia and hypoglycemia. On occasion, patients might have cerebral malaria, which can cause coma, life-long disabilities, and even death.

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What is the impact of malaria disease on global health?

Malaria is one of the top child killers around the world today. Of the 435,000 people who died from this disease in 2017, the majority were children in Africa. In total, there were 219 million clinical cases that year. Malaria disease has a heavy burden on people’s lives and the healthcare system.

Over the past 20 years, global health aid and interventions have achieved a 62% decline in the rate of malaria deaths. However, the disease persists throughout the world. As such, more action is needed to protect children and adults around the world from malaria.

Malaria; everything you need to know

Understanding this disease is an essential part of the global health and humanitarian community for the reason that malaria disease affects millions of people annually. Therefore it is vital to continue to take a stand against this disease and help people all around the world. If this article was of interest, you might also be interested in other items on this disease; ‘everything you need to know about malaria disease.’

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