Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
- Malaria facts
- What is malaria?
- Is malaria contagious?
- What causes malaria?
- What are risk factors for malaria? Is it possible to prevent malaria?
- What are malaria symptoms and signs?
- How do physicians diagnose malaria?
- What is the treatment for malaria?
- What is the prognosis of malaria?
- Is there a malaria vaccine?
- Can malaria reoccur after treatment?
- Over 200 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide in 2010.
- The World Health Organization estimates that 500,000-800,000 people died of malaria in 2010; the vast majority are young children in sub-Saharan Africa.
- About 1,500 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, usually in travelers returning from endemic areas.
- Malaria was a serious public-health threat in the U.S. until it was eliminated during the 1920s-1940s. Much of the early work done by the CDC focused on controlling and eliminating malaria in the U.S.
What is malaria?
Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal, disease spread by mosquitoes and caused by a parasite. Malaria was a significant health risk in the U.S. until it was eliminated by multiple programs in the late 1940s. The illness presents with flu-like symptoms that include high fever and chills.
There are three necessary aspects to the malaria life cycle:
- The Anopheles mosquito that carries the parasite and where the parasite starts its life cycle
- The parasite (Plasmodium) has multiple subspecies, each causing a different severity of symptoms and responding to different treatments.
- The parasite first travels to a human's liver to grow and multiply. It then travels in the bloodstream and infects and destroys red blood cells.
Is malaria contagious?
Malaria can spread without a mosquito. This occurs rarely and is usually found in a transmission from the mother to the unborn child (congenital malaria), by blood transfusions, or when intravenous-drug users share needles.
Next: What causes malaria?
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