Malaria is caused by a type of microscopic parasite called Plasmodium that's transmitted most commonly by mosquito bites.
Mosquito transmission cycle:
A mosquito becomes infected by feeding on a person who has malaria. If you're the next person this mosquito bites, it can transmit malaria parasites to you. The parasites then travel to your liver — where some types can lie dormant for as long as a year. When the parasites mature, they leave the liver and infect your red blood cells in the bloodstream. This is when people typically develop malaria symptoms. If an uninfected mosquito bites you at this point in the cycle, it will become infected with your malaria parasites and can spread them to the next person it bites.
A malaria infection is generally characterized by recurrent attacks with the following signs and symptoms, moderate to severe shaking chills, high fever, sweating. Other signs and symptoms may include: headache, vomiting, diarrhea
Malaria signs and symptoms typically begin within a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. However, some types of malaria parasites can lie dormant in your body for up to a year.
Malaria can be fatal, particularly the variety that's common in tropical parts of Africa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 90 percent of all malaria deaths occur in Africa — most commonly in children under the age of 5.
In most cases, malaria deaths are related to one or more serious complications, including: Cerebral malaria: If parasite-filled blood cells block small blood vessels to your brain (cerebral malaria), swelling of your brain or brain damage may occur. Cerebral malaria may cause coma. Breathing problems: Accumulated fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema) can make it difficult to breathe. Organ failure: Malaria can cause your kidneys or liver to fail, or your spleen to rupture. Any of these conditions can be life-threatening. Anemia: Malaria damages red blood cells, which can result in anemia.
Malaria can be prevented through Mosquiteo bite prevention ( adequate body and skin coverage, use to mosquito repellants, night time mosquito nets and avoidance of outdoor exposure at times of greatest mosquito activity.
There are a wide variety of anti-malarial medications available to prevent the growth of malarial parasites in the body after infected mosquitobites.Your doctor will discuss these with you.