Understanding the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Malaria
25-10-2017 | Posted By: Chhavi | 693 View(s)
Malaria is a deadly disease that mostly affects the population in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, etc. are quite common these days. It is important to have knowledge about these diseases so that you can take steps to prevent them. Today, we are going to talk about Malaria in detail. Read on to know about the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of malaria.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a life-threatening disease which is transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. The infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite, and when this infected mosquito bites a person, the parasite is released into the bloodstream.
These parasites develop once they are inside the body and travel to the liver. Then, these parasites start infecting Red Blood Cells by entering into the bloodstream. It takes about three to four days for the parasites to multiply inside the Red Blood Cells which eventually results in symptoms that occur in cycles that last two to three days at a time.
In the United States of America, malaria was eliminated in the early 1950s, and thus it is rare in the U.S. But still, 1500 to 2000 cases still occur each year in the United States of America. Malaria is typically prevalent in the tropical and subtropical climates where parasites can live.
What are the Causes of Malaria?
Malaria occurs when a mosquito which is infected with the Plasmodium parasite bites anyone. In some cases, malaria can also pass from an infected mother to her baby at birth. This is called congenital malaria. In certain rare cases, it can also be transmitted by blood, which means that it can be transmitted through:
An organ transplant
Use of shared needles or syringes
One cannot get malaria just by being near a person who is infected with the disease.
What are the Symptoms of Malaria?
The symptoms of malaria resemble those of flu, and these symptoms recur in cycles. Some types of malaria may cause severe health problems such as damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs or brain and can be deadly.
Generally, the symptoms of malaria develop within ten days to four weeks following the infection. In some rare cases, symptoms may not develop for several months. Few common symptoms of malaria are:
Shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe
Blood in stools
How does Malaria Get Diagnosed?
If you experience any symptoms of malaria as mentioned above, you must consult a Doctor. The Doctor first takes the medical history and then conduct a physical examination. The Doctor may also order additional Blood tests to confirm a diagnosis. These tests will help the Doctor to know:
Whether or not the patient has malaria
What particular type of malaria does the patient has
If the disease has caused anaemia
If malaria has affected the vital organs of the patient
Doctors use thin and thick blood smears to check whether the parasites that cause malaria are present in the patient’s blood or not. A blood smear is prepared from a blood sample.These tests are done if the patient has been in a region where malaria is present, or if the patient was exposed to mosquitoes or have flu-like symptoms.
Other tests that are done to confirm the diagnosis of malaria include:
1. Complete Blood Count Test, which is done to screen for anaemia or any other possible infections. Sometimes, anaemia develops in people with malaria because the parasites damage Red Blood Cells.
2. Liver Function Tests, to check for liver damage, liver infections and other liver disorders.
3. A blood glucose test, which is done to measure the amount of glucose in the blood.
Now, other tests are also developed which help in diagnosing malaria such as genetic and other blood tests; these tests use special stains to highlight parasites. These tests are difficult to conduct and hence are not commonly used.
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What are the Complications of Malaria?
Malaria is a severe disease which can pose various life-threatening complications such as:
Swelling of the blood vessels of the brain
Organ failure of the spleen, liver or kidneys
Low Blood Sugar
What is the Treatment of Malaria?
Malaria is a life-threatening health condition, the treatment of which is typically provided in a hospital. The doctors prescribe medications based on the type of parasite that caused malaria. There are certain parasites which are resistant to drugs, and these parasites have been reported. These are the parasites which do not get affected by the drugs. If this occurs, the Doctor prescribes more than one medication or change medications altogether for the proper treatment of malaria.
How to Prevent Malaria?
Malaria can turn into a deadly disease; thus one must be on the safer side and follow some tips to prevent malaria. The best and the most efficient way to prevent malaria is not to get bitten by the mosquitoes which cause it.
To prevent mosquito bite, you can try the following tips:
1. Avoid sleeping outside or in the areas where mosquitoes are present such as standing water, dark areas, lakes, etc. Try to stay inside when it is dark outside and stay in well-screened areas in the night.
2. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts as then your skin will be less exposed and the chances of getting bitten by mosquitoes will be quite less.
3. Use a bed-net soaked in an insecticide. Check that the bed net is not damaged and is properly tucked underneath your mattress.
4. Use mosquito repellent in all living and sleeping areas, especially during evening and night time.
5. Apply insect repellant creams or lotions to the exposed parts of the skin to prevent mosquito bites. It is advisable to use the repellant during the daytime as well because the mosquito may bite you in broad daylight as well.
Home Remedies for the Treatment of Malaria
If you want to get quick relief from malaria, then it is best to follow home remedies along with medications to cure malaria.
Some of the best home remedies for the treatment of malaria are:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Take ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 2-3 glasses water and two soft clothes. Dilute the apple cider vinegar with water and soak the clothes in it. Place the clothes on the calves for ten to twelve minutes. Follow this remedy during the fever stage of malaria as this remedy helps in treating malaria fever.
Cinnamon is an effective home remedy for the treatment of malaria. Cinnamon has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and which assist in relieving malaria symptoms.
Take one teaspoon of coarse cinnamon powder, one teaspoon honey, a glass of water and a pinch of pepper powder. Boil both the pepper powder and cinnamon powder in water for a few minutes. Strain and then add honey to it. Mix the ingredients well and drink this solution once or twice a day.
3. Orange Juice
Orange juice is enriched with Vitamin C which boosts the body’s immune system and helps in the treatment of malaria.
Simply, extract fresh juice out of an orange and drink it. Drink two to three glasses of fresh orange juice every day.
Turmeric has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties which help in flushing the toxins out of the body that is building up due to Plasmodium infection. It also helps in treating malaria by giving relief from the symptoms like joint pain and muscle aches.
Add some turmeric to the milk and mix well. Drink this before going to bed.
5. Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds are one of the best ways to combat weakness which occurs as a result of malaria fever. It also helps in the treatment of malaria by boosting the immune system.
Take 5 grammes fenugreek seeds and a glass of water. Soak the fenugreek seeds in water overnight and drink this water every day in the morning on an empty stomach till the malarial infection goes away completely.
Ginger has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in the treatment of malaria.
Simply, take a one-inch piece of ginger and chop it into pieces. Boil the pieces in a one-half cup of water. Strain and drink the decoction once it cools down a little. You can also mix in honey for better taste. Drink one to two cups of this every day to get relief from malaria.
7. Fever Nut
Fever Nuts also has excellent antimalarial and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a useful remedy for malaria.
Take 6 grammes of fever nut and soak them in one cup of water. Take it two hours before the expected onset of fever and one hour after it.
Grapefruit controls the intensity of malaria infection and hence helps in the quick treatment of malaria. Furthermore, it contains a natural quinine-like substance that helps in alleviating malarial symptoms.
Take ¼ grapefruit and boil it. Strain the pulp and drink it. Follow the process every day to get relief from malaria.
A Word Of Caution– You should not drink grapefruit juice if quinidine is a part of the prescribed medicines you are taking. That is because grapefruit alters enzymes in your stomach which reduces the body’s capacity to absorb quinidine.
9. Holy Basil
Holy basil helps in curing malaria by providing relief from malarial symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. It also keeps the body in a healthy state, and hence malaria patients must ingest holy basil to treat the disease.
Crush 12 to 15 holy basil leaves and take out their juice. Now, add black pepper to the juice and mix well. Consume this juice. You can drink holy basil juice three times a day to get quick relief.
10. Mustard Oil
Mustard Oil also has antimalarial properties and hence should be added to your diet to cure malaria.
You can use mustard oil as a cooking oil to incorporate it into your daily diet. You can even add a teaspoon of mustard oil to smoothies to fight the infection better.
11. Green Tea
Green tea has antioxidants that boost your immune system and help in fighting the infection. Take one green tea bag and a small piece of tamarind. Now, soak both of these ingredients in hot water for a couple of minutes. Remove the tea bag and strain the tea. Sip slowly. Drink two cups of this delicious herbal tea every day.
Alum is antimicrobial in nature, and hence it works as an excellent remedy for malaria.
Take an inch-sized piece of alum and roast it on a hot plate and powder it. Take half a teaspoon of alum powder before the expected attach and half a teaspoon every two hours after the attack. Follow this process before and after every malarial attack to get immediate relief from the malarial symptoms.
13. Citrus Limetta Fruit
Citrus Limetta Fruit, also known as Mosambi is rich in vitamin C, which is easily digestible for a malaria patient.Simply, grab a citrus Limetta fruit and extract juice from the fruit and drink it, You can drink 2 to 3 glasses of this juice every day for quick recovery.
Try these remedies to get quick relief from malaria. Also, go for regular Health Checkups to know the state of your health. Stay cautious and take preventive measures to avoid falling sick. Remember, ‘Prevention is better than Cure!’