Symptoms and Complications of Malaria

Malaria is a deadly disease, which spreads through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. This mosquito carries the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites an individual, it injects the parasites into the individuals’ bloodstream. This disease can be severe in pregnant women, babies, young children and older people.

It is an enormous worldwide problem. It is typically found in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Based on data provided by the WHO, 91 countries in the world were affected by this disease. Moreover, the WHO estimates that nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of Malaria. In 2015, the world had 212 million cases and 4,29,000 deaths primarily in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.

Clinical Features

Symptoms usually begin 10 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In some cases, symptoms may not develop for several months. However, some types of malarial parasites can lie inactive in your body up to a year.

Symptoms of Malaria

Common symptoms include:

  • High Fever
  • Sweats and Chills
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain

Complications of Malaria

Malaria is an acute disease that can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated quickly. Complications can occur within hours or days of first symptoms. Hence it is vital to get immediate medical help. It can cause various life-threatening complications such as:

  • Anaemia
  • Severe infection of the brain (Cerebral malaria)
  • Shock: Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Liver failure (Jaundice)
  • Kidney failure
  • Enlargement of the spleen
  • Respiratory failure due to ARDS