Malaria: symptoms and treatment

Malaria is a group of vector-borne diseases that are transmitted by the bite of a malarial mosquito. The disease is spread in the territory of Africa, the countries of the Caucasus. Children under the age of 5 years are most susceptible to the disease. Each year more than 1 million deaths are recorded. But, with timely treatment, the disease occurs without serious complications.


There are three ways of infecting tropical malaria:

  • Transmissive type (through the bite of a malarial mosquito)
  • parenteral (through unprocessed medical supplies)
  • Transplacental (mixed type)

The first way of infection is most common.

General Symptoms

The first and most reliable sign of infection with an ailment is fever. It begins as soon as the malaria agent entered the red blood cells and reached a critical level. In general, the symptoms of malaria are as follows:

  1. recurrent fever;
  2. anemia (anemia)
  3. a significant increase in the spleen
  4. Liver condensation is possible.

The general list can be supplemented by other signs, depending on the period of development and the form of the disease.

Forms of malaria

In modern medicine, the disease is classified into four forms:

  • a three-day form
  • four days
  • Tropical infectious form
  • Oval malaria.

Each of these forms has its own characteristic, pronounced signs and requires an individual course of treatment.

The three-day form

Three-day malaria from other forms of the disease is very favorable prognosis. The incubation period can last from 2 to 8 months from the moment of a mosquito bite.

Symptoms of malaria of this subform are consistent with the above list. In the absence of correct treatment or with too weak immunity, complications can occur in the form of nephritis or malarial hepatitis. In the most complex clinical cases peripheral nephritis can develop. But in general, three-day malaria occurs without significant complications.

Four Day Malaria

As well as a three-day malaria, with correct and timely treatment it proceeds without significant complications. General symptoms of the disease can be supplemented by such signs:

  1. daily fever;
  2. no increase in internal organs is observed.

It is worth noting that fever attacks are easily eliminated if antimalarial drugs are used in a timely manner. However, relapse can occur even after 10-15 years.

In rare cases, a complication in the form of kidney failure may occur.

Oval malaria

In its symptoms and flow, this form is similar to the three-day form of the disease course. The incubation period can last an average of 11 days.

Tropical malaria

Tropical malaria is the most common form of the disease. Precursors of the development of ailment can be the following:

  • sharply elevated temperature;
  • chills;
  • weakness, malaise
  • muscle pain.

In contrast to the three-day malaria, this form of pathology is characterized by a severe course. Without proper treatment, even death can occur. The virus is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy one, or through a mosquito bite.

Periods of disease development

Since the disease is included in polycyclic infectious diseases, its course is divided into four periods:

  1. latent (incubation period)
  2. primary acute period;
  3. Secondary period
  4. relapse of infection.

The clinical picture of periods

The initial period, that is, the incubation, practically does not manifest itself. As the transition to acute stage, the patient may manifest such signs of the disease:

  • a sudden change in the period of chills with fever
  • increased sweating
  • partial cyanosis of the limbs;
  • high blood pressure;
  • rapid pulse, heavy breathing

At the end of the attack, the patient’s temperature can rise to 40 degrees, the skin becomes dry and red. In some cases, there may be a violation of the mental state — a person is in an excited state, then falls into unconsciousness. Cramps may appear.

When you go to the secondary period of development of the pathology, the patient calms down, his condition improves somewhat, and he can safely fall asleep. This condition is observed until the next attack of fever. It is worth noting that every attack and development of a new period of the course of the disease is accompanied by profuse perspiration.

Against the background of such attacks there is an increased condition of the liver or spleen. In general, the incubation period falls to 10-12 such typical seizures. After this, the symptoms become less pronounced and the secondary period of the disease begins.

In the absence of treatment, there is almost always a relapse and death is not excluded.


Diagnosis of this ailment is not particularly difficult, in view of its specific symptoms. To clarify the diagnosis and the appointment of a correct course of treatment, a laboratory blood test is performed (allows to identify the pathogen).

If there is a suspicion of malaria, the blood is examined by two methods:

  1. immunological;
  2. parasitological.


With timely treatment, malaria occurs without significant complications. Any folk techniques or questionable pills purchased independently in the pharmacy, in this case, are unacceptable. Delay can turn into not only a relapse of the disease and a complication in the form of other diseases, but also a fatal outcome.

The most effective is drug treatment. In this case, the patient must be hospitalized, since the treatment should be carried out only permanently and under the constant supervision of medical specialists.

At the initial period, as a rule, they manage by one tablets. Most often used Hingamin. The doctor calculates dosage and frequency of reception individually based on the general state of health, weight and age of the patient.

If the tablets do not bring the desired result, and the condition of the infected patient has not improved, prescribe medications that are administered intravenously.

Other tablets can also be used to treat the disease — based on artemisinin. But, drugs based on this substance, are very expensive, so in clinical practice for the treatment of malarial infection, they are not widely used. However, such tablets are most effective for treatment even in the late stages of the development of the pathological process.

Possible complications

Unfortunately, malaria in any form can affect the condition of any organ or system in the human body. Most often the disease affects the liver, spleen and cardiovascular system. Also, against the background of malaria, there may be diseases of the nervous system, genito-urinary and vascular.

As medical practice shows, the most difficult and lethal outcome of the disease occurs in southern countries, where there is no access to good medications. Cheap pills can only temporarily stop seizures, but the causative agent of the infection does not die from it. As a consequence of this, the transition begins in the last period of the development of the disease and a fatal outcome occurs.


Malaria prevention requires the use of special pills. Start their reception should be 2 weeks before the proposed departure to the risk zone. Prescribe them can be an infectious disease doctor. Continue taking prescribed tablets is also after arrival (within 1-2 weeks).

In addition, to prevent the spread of infection in countries where the disease is not uncommon, activities are carried out to destroy malarial mosquitoes. Windows of buildings are protected by special grids.

If you are going to go to such a dangerous zone, you should get special protective clothing and do not forget about taking preventive pills.

Such preventive measures almost completely exclude the infection of this dangerous disease. In the event that there are even a few symptoms from the above, you should immediately contact an infectious disease specialist. A timely treatment will almost completely get rid of the disease and prevent the development of complications.