Malaria is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It can cause severe symptoms and if left untreated, it can be fatal. If you practice good insect bite avoidance and take malaria tablets you are unlikely to get ill. However, it is good to know which signs you should look out for during your trip. Find out how to spot the first symptoms and what to do if you get ill. The first sign of malaria most patients notice are flu-like symptoms, with chills followed by a high fever which persists for several hours.
Malaria must be recognized promptly in order to treat the patient in time and to prevent further spread of infection in the community via local mosquitoes. Malaria should be considered a potential medical emergency and should be treated accordingly. Delay in diagnosis and treatment is a leading cause of death in malaria patients in the United States. However, for a definitive diagnosis to be made, laboratory tests must demonstrate the malaria parasites or their components. A patient with fever who had recently traveled to a malaria-endemic country is being evaluated in the emergency room. Likewise, the physical findings are often not specific elevated temperature, perspiration, tiredness. In addition to ordering the malaria specific diagnostic tests described below, the health-care provider should conduct an initial workup and request a complete blood count and a routine chemistry panel.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Four kinds of malaria parasites infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. In addition, P. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented. About 2, cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. The vast majority of cases in the United States are in travelers and immigrants returning from parts of the world where malaria transmission occurs, including sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that in , million clinical cases of malaria occurred, and , people died of malaria, most of them children in Africa. Because malaria causes so much illness and death, the disease is a great drain on many national economies.
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease. The Anopheles mosquito transmits it to humans.