Malaria: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatments

Malaria is a common life-threatening disease in many tropical areas. It is caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. When the infected mosquito bites the parasite is released into blood stream. These parasite travels into liver and become mature. After several days they enter the blood stream and start to infect red blood cells. Within 42-72 hours the parasites multiply causing the burst of infected cells.

The United States has approximately 1500-2000 cases o malaria each year as a result of international travel or immigration.  Globally an estimated 700,000 people were killed due to malaria in 2010 and approximately half of the world population is at the risk. MI Express Care Canton Urgent Care have indoor lab to conducts different lab tests.

Causes of malaria:

Malaria is caused by parasitic plasmodium that are transported by female of an anopheles mosquito and released into human blood stream by an infected mosquito. Human malaria is caused by four different species off plasmodium are:

  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium malariae
  • Plasmodium ovale
  • Plasmodium vivax

The malignant malaria is caused by plasmodium falciparum is life-threatening and cause many infections. The malaria caused by the other three species is not severe except for old and people with immune deficiencies.


The malaria is transmitted by female anopheles mosquito. Also malaria is transmitted by blood. Thus it can also be transmitted through:

  • A transfusion
  • An organ transplant
  • Use of shared syringes and needles
  • From mother to unborn child

Incubation period:

The incubation period from time o being bitten to appearance of symptoms varies depending on the type of species, the various incubation periods are:

  • 14 days for P.vivax and P.ovale
  • 12 days for P.falciparum
  • 30 days for P.malariae

Signs and symptoms:

Typically the symptoms develop with 10 days to 4 weeks. Common symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Coma
  • Bloody stools

Vulnerable groups:

People who are at increased risk of this disease include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Unborn children
  • Young children
  • Infants
  • Older adults
  • Immunosuppressed travelers

Complications of malaria:

Malaria can cause several severe complications. Complications may be:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Swelling of brain blood vessels
  • Pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in the blood that causes respiratory problems).
  • Anemia
  • Organ failure of liver or kidney.


Early diagnosis and then treatment is life saving. Malaria can be diagnosed by symptoms and confirmed by blood tests. You can visit MI Express Care Urgent Care Canton MI for lab tests.


The type of medicines used to treat malaria depends on:

  • Type of malaria
  • Severity
  • Pregnancy
  • Where you get this disease

Antimalarial drugs are used to treat malaria along with medications to control fever. The drugs that are used to treat malaria include:

  • Quinine
  • Hloroquine
  • Atovaquone proguanil (Malarone®)
  • Artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem®)
  • Mefloquine
  • Clindamycin with quinine
  • Tetracycline
  • Doxycycline with quinine

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