Malaria

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Malaria

Post  Admin on Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:06 pm

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by a eukaryotic protest of the genus Plasmodium. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions including parts of the Americas (22 countries), Asia and Africa. There are approximately 350-500 million cases of malaria each year, killing one to three million people.

There are five species of the plasmodium parasite that can cause malaria in humans; the most serious forms of the malaria are casued by Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax. Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae causes milder disease in humans that is not generally fatal. The fifth species, Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonosis that causes malaria in macaques but can also infect humans.

Malaria is naturally transmitted by the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected person, a small amount of blood is taken, which contains malaria parasites. These develop within the mosquito, and about one week later, when the mosquito takes its next blood meal, the parasites are injected with the mosquito’s saliva into the person being bitten. After a period of two weeks to several months (occasionally years) spent in the liver, the malaria parasites start to multiply within red blood cells, causing symptoms that include fever and headache. In severe cases the disease worsens leading to hallucinations, coma and death.

Symptoms are include fever, shivering, arthralia join pain), vomiting, anemia (caused by hemolysis), hemolobinuria, retinal damage, and convulsions. The classic symptom of malaria is cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness followed by rigor and then fever and sweating lasting four to six hours, occurring every two days in P. vivax and P. ovale infections, while every three days for P. malariae. P. falciparum can have recurrent fever every 36-48 hours or a less pronounced and almost continous fever (maybe related to high intracranial pressure). Children with malaria frequently exhibit abnormal posturing, a sign indicating sever brain damage. Malaria has been found to cause cognitive impairments, especially in children. It causes widespread anemia during a period of rapid brain development and also direct brain damage. This neurologic damage results from cerebral malaria to which children are more vulnerable. Cerebral malaria is associated with retinal whitening, which may be a useful clinical sign in distinguishing malaria from other causes of fever.

People may think that malaria is another disease that is common in Africa and Asia, but as the matter of fact, the numbers of people infected by malaria are increasing in the UK.

There are number of ways in which you can protect your self from getting malaria, so if you need more info or have comments to make, feel free to post it.
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