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Malaria isthe name for a parasitic disease caused by a parasite whose host is the mosquito.This parasite enters the human body when the mosquito bites the skin. Eventhough malaria can be treated, many people, especially children in Africa near theSahara, die each year from it. Therefore, immediate proper treatment of malariadisease is important.

Causes ofmalaria

The parasitethat causes malaria first enters the body of female mosquito and infects thesaliva glands and then the parasite slowly grows. When the mosquito bitessomeone, the parasite penetrates into the body of the person in question. When one is alreadyinfected by malaria and then again bitten by another mosquito which is not infestedby the parasite, this mosquito gets infected and is called a vector.

Symptoms ofmalaria

Sometimesmalaria does not show any symptoms, but when they do, they can be mild orsevere and even cause death. However, malaria can be complicated or uncomplicated. The incubationperiod from the time when the parasite penetrates the body until the first symptomsshow may be from 7 to 30 days since it depends on the type of the parasite. Thereare four types of parasites that infect the mosquito and subsequently causemalaria.

When theuncomplicated malaria is in question, there are three stages that lasts about 6 to 10 hours and that recur after two or three days.In the cold phase of the uncomplicated malaria, the person shivers and feelscold, while in the next hot phase, the one has high fever and experiences vomiting andheadaches, though even convulsion may occur, especially in children. In the thirdsweating phase of the uncomplicated malaria, the affected person sweats a lot, while he has normal temperature. Other possiblesymptoms of this type of malaria are enlarged spleen and liver, mild jaundiceand rapid breathing.

The complicatedmalaria occurs in people whose immunity to this disease is very low, due tothe fact that it affects the blood, kidneys and lungs. The complicated malaria should betreated immediately since it may lead to death. When a pregnant woman develops complicatedmalaria, the early termination of pregnancy usually occurs.

Treatment for malaria

When malariais diagnosed, the treatment depends on the state of the affected person. However,the medicines that are mainly prescribed are chloroquineand sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Mefloquineand atovaquone-proguanil are two medicines that are also used for thetreatment of malaria disease.

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