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MALARIA

What is Malaria?
The term malaria has been used to define the vector-borne infectious disease which occurs due to protozoan parasites. Malaria is a commonly occurring disease, which is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in the parts of America, Asia, and Africa. Malaria is a deadly disease which kills millions of people around the world and almost 90% of the malaria-related deaths occur in the Saharan Africa region. Most people associate malaria with poverty but the major hindrance in treatment of this disease is the economic development of the country. The threat of malaria has been one of the most common infectious diseases and it leads to enormous public health problems. Basically the disease is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which has five species that can infect humans. Some of the most serious forms of the disease occur due to Plasmodium falciparum. The forms of malaria which are not fatal include Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium. The fifth species, named Plasmodium knowlesi, is known to cause malaria in macaques but can also infect humans. Malaria parasites are the term used to define the species of parasites that cause malaria in human beings.


Symptoms of Malaria:
The most common symptoms of malaria are shivering, fever, joint pain, vomiting, anemia, hemoglobinuria, retinal damage along with convulsions. But the most classic symptom of malaria is the cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness, which is followed by rigor and then fever. Even sweating can occur, which lasts for about four to six hours and happens every two days in P. vivax and P. ovale infections. These symptoms can be seen every three for P. malariae and about 2 days for P. falciparum. It has also been seen that high intracranial pressure is caused in children with malaria and they also exhibit abnormal posturing. There are chances of brain damage in the disease and it can lead to cognitive impairment in children.

Causes of Malaria:
The causes of malaria are the protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which include the species like P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. vivax and P. knowlesi. Parasitic Plasmodium has been known to affect animals and bird species like birds, reptiles, monkeys, chimpanzees and rodents. There are various kinds of malaria also and it has been seen that malaria can lead to severe problems of the liver due to weakness in the body.

 
Treatment for Malaria:
The treatments for malaria vary and it has been seen that the active malaria infection, occurring due to P. falciparum, requires medical emergency treatment and hospitalization. The P. vivax, P. ovale or P. malariae does not require any hospitalization and can be treated through regular medical treatment. The best hospitals in India for treating malaria include Apollo, Tata Memorial hospital and various others. The medicines or the course for the disease should be completed as there are high chances of malaria relapsing. Along with this the juice of neem, holy basil and black pepper should be taken in small quantities every day to combat weakness and improve immunity.

 
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