Malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening blood disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted to humans by the Anophelesmosquito. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease.

If malaria is diagnosed and treated early on, the duration of the infection can be considerably reduced, which in turn lowers the risk of complications and death.

There are five types of malaria:

Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) -

milder form of the disease, generally not fatal. However, infected people still need treatment because their untreated progress can also cause a host of health problems. This type has the widest geographic distribution globally. About 60% of infections in India are due to P. vivax. This parasite has a liver stage and can remain in the body for years without causing sickness. If the patient is not treated, the liver stage may re-activate and cause relapses - malaria attacks - after months, or even years without symptoms.

Plasmodium malariae (P. malariae) -

milder form of the disease, generally not fatal. However, the infected human still needs treatment because no treatment can also lead to a host of health problems. This type of parasite has been known to stay in the blood of some people for several decades.

Plasmodium ovale (P. ovale) -

milder form of the disease, generally not fatal. However, the infected human still needs to be treated because it may progress and cause a host of health problems. This parasite has a liver stage and can remain in the body for years without causing sickness. Without treatment there is a risk that the liver stage re-activates and cause relapses after very long periods without symptoms.

Plasmodium falciparum (P. faliparum) -

the most serious form of the disease. It is most common in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Current data indicates that cases are now being reported in areas of the world where this type was thought to have been eradicated.

Plasmodium knowlesi (P. knowlesi) -

causes malaria in macaques but can also infect humans.

Categories