Understanding Malaria Disease – Malaria is an infectious disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. The disease is spread through mosquito bites that need parasites. If you can not quickly and precisely, can cause severe complications that can lead to death.

Malaria infection can occur with just one mosquito bite. This disease is not transmitted directly from one individual to another. Transmission can occur because there is contact with the blood of the patient, for example, a pregnant woman passes on to the fetus she contains.

Patients with Malaria

According to WHO, by 2015 there are 214 million new malaria cases worldwide. In the same year, 438,000 cases of malaria resulted in death. The region with the highest mortality rate in Africa as much as 90 percent, followed by Southeast Asia by 7 percent.

Complications of Malaria

Malaria is a serious illness that can be fatal if not promptly diagnosed and treated. The effects of malaria generally occur in pregnant women, elderly, children, and infants.

Some serious complications from malaria, including:

  • Severe anemia. The red blood cells can not carry enough oxygen around the body. This causes sleepiness, and the patient feels weak.
  • Malaria cerebral. In rare cases, small blood vessels leading to the brain can be blocked or even blocked. This causes seizures, brain damage, and coma.
  • Failed organ function. Malaria can lead to kidney failure, failure of liver function, and rupture of the spleen organ.
  • Respiratory disorders. The buildup of fluid in the lungs that will make it difficult for you to breathe.
  • Hypoglycemia. Abnormal blood sugar levels.
  • Dehydration.
  • Blood pressure dropped suddenly.

malaria treatment

Diagnosis of Malaria Disease

The diagnosis of malaria can be ascertained by taking into account the symptoms experienced by the patient, physical examination, and rapid diagnostic test (RDT). RDT is performed to determine the presence and type of parasites that cause malaria.

The examination is done by using blood sample of the patient. In 20 minutes, usually, the results can be obtained. The results of RDT are very important in determining the type of antimalarial treatment that will be given to the patient.

Blood tests will also be performed to determine if the patient is also suffering from anemia. Anemia is one of the complications that can occur as a result of malaria.

Symptoms of Illness Malaria

The most rapid malaria symptoms appear about a week after you are bitten by an infected Anopheles mosquito. Generally, the incubation period (the time between the malaria mosquito bites and the onset of symptoms) lasts 7-18 days.

The length of the incubation period depends on the type of parasite that infects. In fact, there are cases of malaria whose symptoms appear only a year after infection.

Symptoms are often mild and difficult to identify as malaria unless blood tests are performed. Some of the symptoms of malaria are similar to flu symptoms, such as:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Gag

In some types of malaria, fever occurs every 48 hours. When the body temperature is down, you will feel cold and shivering. Then, a fever accompanied by excessive sweating and fatigue. These symptoms can last for 6-12 hours. Other malarial symptoms may include muscle aches and diarrhea.

malaria cause

Treatment of Disease Malaria

Malaria patients can recover completely if malaria is treated and treated properly. The treatment process should start immediately after diagnosis is known. The antimalarial drugs the doctor will give depend on the following factors:

  • The type of parasite that causes malaria
  • The severity of malaria suffered
  • Pregnancy of the patient

Some types of malaria are known to be resistant to certain drugs. For example, malaria is commonly found in Indonesia will not be cured if given chloroquine antimalarial drugs.

In such cases, the doctor will suggest a combination of antimalarial drugs. If the case of malaria suffered severe enough, the drug would be given in the form of intravenous fluids in the hospital.

To treat malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the medicines given by the doctor are:

  • Combination of artesunate and amodiaquine
  • Combination of dihydroartemisinin, piperaquine, and primaquine
  • Combination of quinine, doxycycline, and primaquine

Meanwhile, for malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax will be treated with:

  • Combination of artesunate and amodiaquine
  • Combination of dihydroartemisinin, piperaquine, and primaquine

For patients who are pregnant malaria, the risk of severe malaria will increase. Both the mother and the fetus are conceived to have serious complications. Doctors who treat the patient will involve the obstetrician for treatment by the conditions.

Cause of Disease Malaria

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasite is transmitted to the human body through the infected female Anopheles mosquito bite. There are many types of Plasmodium, but only five can cause infections in the human body. These mosquitoes usually bite humans at night. When an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasite enters the body through the bloodstream.

Of the five types of Plasmodium parasites that can infect humans, the most common cases in Indonesia are of only two types:

  • Plasmodium falciparum
    This is the most common cause of malaria and ranks first as the cause of death caused by malaria.
  • Plasmodium vivax
    This parasite causes symptoms slightly lighter than malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. However, Plasmodium vivax can make malaria recur because it can survive in the liver for three years.

The timing of symptoms from mosquito bites or incubation periods are:

  • 9 to 14 days in malaria from Plasmodium falciparum.
  • 12 to 18 days in malaria due to Plasmodium vivax.
    The spread of malaria is done by female Anopheles mosquitoes that have been infected with Plasmodium parasites. Mosquitoes will become infected if they bite malaria patients. Then, the mosquito will spread the parasite to other humans through its bite. Usually, these mosquitoes bite at night.

At the time of the bite, the parasite enters the bloodstream and moves into the liver. The Early infection will occur and develop in the liver. The parasite then re-enters the bloodstream and attacks the red blood cells.

Parasites use red blood cells as breeding grounds. With regular intervals, red blood cells that are full of malaria parasites will erupt. This causes more parasites in the bloodstream.
These infected red blood cells erupt every two to three days. At the time it happens, the malaria sufferers will experience symptoms of fever, chills, and sweating.

The malaria-causing parasite affects red blood cells, causing the transmission to occur in the event of contact between the individual and infected blood.
Although rarely occurs, the following process can transmit malaria infections as well:

Patients with malaria who are pregnant can transmit it to the fetus that is being conceived
Share a syringe with a malaria patient
Blood transfusion

Prevention of Disease Malaria

The most effective way to prevent malaria is to keep yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes. You can perform the following steps:

  • Use an antisera lotion
  • Use clothes that can maximally cover the skin
  • Clean the tub and mix the abate to eradicate the mosquito larva
  • Maintain cleanliness by removing puddles that have the potential to become a mosquito breeding ground
  • Wearing mosquito nets in the bedroom
  • Install the door and window closing nets
  • Wearing mosquito repellent regularly