Malaria Facts (cont.)
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.
In this Article
- Malaria facts
- What is malaria?
- 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?
What are malaria symptoms and signs?
Malaria has a wide spectrum of symptoms. After the bite by the infected mosquito occurs, it can take between seven and 30 days before symptoms start.
Malaria is classified as uncomplicated or complicated (severe).
The most common symptoms are
The classic description of a malaria attack (which is rarely observed), would be a six to 12-hour period of cold and shivering alternating with fever and headaches and then a stage of sweating and tiredness (sometimes divided into the cold and hot stage).
As these symptoms are very nonspecific, it is important to evaluate if the patient has risk factors for malaria (usual travel in endemic areas).
Complicated or severe malaria
This occurs when different body systems are affected by malaria.
- Severe anemia (due to destruction of red blood cells)
- Kidney failure
- Cerebral malaria -- seizures, unconsciousness, abnormal behavior, or confusion
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Low blood sugar (in pregnant women after treatment with quinine)
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