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Malaria: Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

27 August, 2020 Nisar Malik

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a disease that is caused by a parasite. The parasite is transmitted through the bites of those mosquitoes that are infected to humans. Those people who are infected by malaria usually feel very sick, with a high fever and chills that are shaking. Malaria is one of the most commonly found and infected disease that infects approximately 210 million people each year and kills about 440,000 people. Africa is the most affected country from malaria the most number of people who die from the disease are young children in Africa.

Malaria is uncommon in temperate climates but common in tropical and subtropical countries. World health officials are distributing bed nets to protect people from mosquitoes bite as they sleep so that incidence of malaria can be reduced. Scientists around the world are working hard to develop a vaccine that can prevent malaria.

Be more careful when at the time of traveling to locations where malaria is common you should take steps to prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing, using insect repellants, and sleeping under treated mosquito nets. The preventions are all dependent on the area you are going to visit as well as the risk factors for infection, in many cases you may also need to take preventive medicine before, during and after your trip, you can also buy medicines online.

Symptoms of Malaria

Malaria infection is generally identified by the following signs:

• Fever

• Chills

• Headache

• Nausea and vomiting

• Muscle pain

• Fatigue

There are other signs and symptoms too that may include:

• Sweating

• Chest or abdominal pain

• Cough

In some cases many people who have malaria experience cycles of malaria "attacks." This malaria attack usually starts with shivering and chills that are followed by a high fever and by sweating and then a return to normal temperature. Malaria signs and symptoms begin within a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito but not all the time as in some types of malaria parasites can lie dormant for up to a year.

Causes of Malaria

Malaria is the disease that is caused by a microscopic parasite. The parasite is transmitted to humans most commonly or mainly through mosquito bites.

Mosquito Transmission Cycle

• Uninfected mosquito. A mosquito that is uninfected becomes infected by feeding on a person who is infected by malaria.

• Transmission of the parasite. This is the second stage and in this stage, if this mosquito bites you in the future then it can transmit malaria parasites to you.

• In the liver. Once the parasites get an entry in your body then they travel to your liver for sure and in the liver, some types can lie dormant for as long as a year.

• Into the bloodstream. At the time when the parasites turn mature, they eventually leave the liver and start infecting your red blood cells. This is the point when people typically develop malaria symptoms.

• On to the next person. At this stage when you are infected from malaria if an uninfected mosquito bites you, it will become infected with your malaria parasites and can spread this disease to others, people, by bites.

Few other Modes of Transmission

The main cause of transmission is through the bites of mosquitoes but there are some other modes of transmission too because of the parasites affecting red blood cells people can also catch malaria from exposure to infected blood, including:

• From pregnant mother to unborn child

• Through the transfusions of blood

• By sharing those needles that used to inject drugs


As we know that there is no specific vaccine of malaria and scientists from the whole overworld are trying to develop a safe and effective vaccine for malaria. As of yet, there is still no malaria vaccine approved for human use. So the best option we are left with is prevention.

You need to be extra careful if in case you are living or traveling to an area where malaria is common you need to take steps to avoid mosquito bites. The bites of mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. You should take the following steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites:

• Cover your skin. Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts that covered almost your body.

• Apply insect repellant. Sprays that contain DEET can be used on skin and sprays that contain permethrin can be applied to clothing, applying these can protect you from mosquitoes.

• Use the net to sleep. Always use bed nets to sleep, use those nets that are particularly treated with insecticide. This will help you prevent mosquitoes bite while sleeping.​​​​​​

Preventive medicine

In case you have to travel to the place where malaria is common in this condition you should talk to your doctor a few months ahead of time about whether you are required to medicines before, during the travel, or after the end of your trip. This will help you to protect from malaria parasites. You should consult your doctor for the medicines that should be taken for the prevention and after knowing about them buy them or from medical stores and if you do not want to go outside you can also order prescription drugs online.

Generally, the drugs that we take to prevent malaria are the same drugs that are used to treat the disease.

We have discussed all the important points of malaria and we get to know that there is no specific vaccine of malaria so the best option is to take preventive steps. Use all the prevention steps that are mentioned above and visit your doctor when you feel the symptoms.