Is Malaria Contagious?

Malaria is a medical anomaly caused due to parasites which gets transmitted primarily through mosquito bites. The condition causes recurrent episodes of fever and tremor. It is recorded that approximately 1 million people die of malaria every year. Most of this population is from the under developed countries. The disease is not common in temperate climate it is highly recorded in subtropical as well as tropical regions of the world. There are measures taken by world health officials. Such bodies often distribute bed-nets and spread awareness of the condition to reduce the number of incidences. Scientists from various organizations are working to discover vaccine that may probably develop immunity in people against this condition.  People are often suggested to take preventive measures if you are planning to visit regions where malaria is common. Unfortunately there are several parasites that are said to be immune to drugs developed to treat the disease.

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Causes of Malaria

Malaria is primarily caused due to a microscopy parasite which may get transmitted commonly by mosquito. Usually, the mosquito may get infected by the parasite either by biting another infected person or through stagnant water where these parasites dwell. If this infected mosquito bites a person then he may suffer from malaria as well. After the parasite is transferred to your body the parasite reaches your liver. It may possibly remain dormant in the liver for even a year. After maturing in the liver they infect the Red Blood Cells, this is the phase wherein people experience symptoms of malaria. This can become a cycle if mosquitoes keep getting infected from one person and bite the uninfected one.

It is also believed that since parasites infect red blood cells, coming in contact with infected blood may also lead to the disease. It may also be passed to the fetus in the womb. Sometimes blood transfusion may cause malaria if the blood is not tested for anomalies. Sharing needles with an infected individual can also lead to the condition.

Symptoms

There are several symptoms of malaria recorded in the medical industry. Some of the common symptoms of the condition come episodically. These symptoms include

  • Moderate to severe chills with tremor
  • High body temperature
  • Extreme sweating with fall in body temperature
  • Headache
  • Queasiness and vomiting
  • Loose motions

Indications of malaria often start to become obvious within few weeks after getting infected. However as mentioned above the parasite can remain dormant in the liver for even a year without causing any symptoms. You will have to consult your doctor if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.

Is malaria contagious?

Malaria is not directly contagious as in conventional way wherein diseases get transferred from one person to another. However, it is indirectly contagious as it often gets transmitted through mosquitoes. If anyone near you is affected with malaria it is crucial to use preventive measures. The condition can also be contagious if needle is shared with a person who is already infected and other such ways in which infected blood reaches you.

Complications 

If not address timely and effectively the condition may also prove fatal, especially those that are commonly recorded in African region. It is recorded that most cases of malaria associated deaths occur in Africa and majority of cases include death of children below 5 years of age.

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Sometimes blood cells infected with parasites obstructs blood vessels in the brain which may lead to swelling and damages to brain. This condition is called ‘cerebral malaria’. Malaria may also cause fluid accumulation in the lungs leading to respiratory issues. The condition may also rupture your spleen or cause organs such as liver or kidney to become malfunctioned or even fail completely. Anemia is one of the complications of the disease as it affects red blood cells. Sometimes infected individuals may also suffer from low blood sugar level.

Tests for malaria

The primary test for the disease is blood test which certainly helps in determining the prevalence of the parasite. It will also help in determining whether you are affected with malaria.  Blood test can also highlight the type of parasite that caused the condition. This will also help in understanding whether the parasite is resistant to any drugs. There are further tests suggested to determine whether the disease has reached your organs. Some tests results may take days to come while other can be obtained in minutes.

Treatment

The treatment of malaria significantly depends on several factors. The type of malaria parasite is determined to understand what drugs can be suitable. Drugs are also decided based on the severity of the symptoms and age of the individual. Pregnant women affected with the disease may be treated differently with higher attention. Commonly suggested drugs are chloroquine, quinine sulfate, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, etc. Also a combination of proguanil and atovaquone is sometimes prescribed to patients. It is always better to consult a doctor to determine which anti-malarial medicine is best suitable for you.

Malaria Pictures

malaria mosquito malaria parasite malaria fever headache

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