Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum

Malaria Caused by Plasmodium Falciparum

Malaria is a serious and potentially fatal infection that is caused by the Plasmodium falciparum protozoan parasite. The parasite is transmitted from person to person by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The disease is most commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Malaria causes symptoms of fever, body ache, headache, nausea, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. In severe cases, malaria can be life-threatening due to the rapid multiplication of the parasite in the blood.

The parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria. It is also the most common species of malaria causing parasites worldwide, making up approximately 80% of all malaria cases. This infection can cause severe anemia, a dangerous drop in blood pressure and organ damage.

The primary symptoms of malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum include fever, chills, headache, vomiting, joint pains, and a feeling of general malaise. The symptoms may also include convulsions, coma, and death in worst cases. The patient may also experience bloody stools and urine.

There are a few ways to reduce the likelihood of getting malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. These include limiting exposure to mosquitoes by wearing protective clothing and using mosquito nets, using insect repellent, and taking anti-malarial medication.

To diagnose malaria, health practitioners usually use specific laboratory tests that detect the malaria parasite in blood. Treatment with antimalarial drugs can be started immediately without waiting for the laboratory tests, if suspicion is strong and the condition of the patient does not allow delay.

Preventive Steps for Malaria

  • Use insect repellent with DEET when going outdoors.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Apply screens or netting on windows and doors that will keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets at night.
  • Empty standing water where mosquitoes could breed or use mosquito larvicides.
  • Use chemical insecticides for indoor spraying.
  • Take antimalarial drugs to prevent infection in some cases.