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Malaria

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Malarial sporozoites

Malaria is a parasitic disease that is associated with mosquito contagion. The parasite it self is called Plasmodium, which is transferred through bites into the blood stream. Often fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms are felt when infected with malaria.[1] An estimated 216 million cases of malaria were found around the world in 2010. It was recorded that 655,000 of the cases in 2010 ended up dying from the disease. A majority of those cases are associated with the Africa region.[2] In 106 countries and territories around the world, over 3.3 billion people live in areas heavily at risk of becoming a victim of the virus. Even after the United States' eradication of the disease in the 1950's, 1500 cases of malaria a year are still popping up in the United States today. [3]

Symptoms/Signs

Ten days to four week after being bitten are when the most evident signs of the first symptoms arises. Sometime signs can accrue even as early as eight days after being infected. Symtoms are usual cause by either merozites entering into the blood stream, the anemia that occures from the destruction of these infected blood cells, an the masive amounts of hemoglobin that is release into the blood stream from the destroyed red blood cells. What doctors look for when expecting a patient is to see if they have an enlarged liver or spleen. This abnormality means that sporozoites have already infected these areas. Some visual signs of symptoms are bloody stools, chills, coma, convulsions, fever, headaches, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, sweating, and vomiting.[4]

Causes

A mosquito sucking blood.

Mosquitoes are most known for piercing the skin of their victims to feed off their blood as a source of energy nutrients. Mosquitoes specifically in the genus Anopheles are know to transmit the malaria virus to other victims as they suck the host's blood. The ones infected with malaria contain a parasite in them called sporozoites. These parasites, once injected into the blood, will travel throughout the blood stream to the liver to use as a breeding ground within the host. Once they mature enough, they will burst releasing the merozoites stage. Merozoites will then enter the blood stream and infect red blood cells. Inside the red blood cell, they will multiply. The result of this is within 48 to 72 hour after red blood cell infection, the red blood cell will burst and release more merozoites to infect more red blood cells. [4]

Prevention/Treatment

Malaria rapid test being performed in the outpatient clinic at the Bagamoyo District Hospital (Bagamoyo, Tanzania, June, 2007).

Treatment
A treatment for most malarial illnesses use an anti-malarial infection medication called Chloroquine. Chloroquine is not fool proof and there are common chloroquine-resistant infections that exist through the world. Treatments for combating this case consist of medicines such as quinidine, quinine, doxycycline, tetracycline, or clindamycin and several others. Much of it will be determined from where your were infected on what type of medication a patient will receive. The expectation of most incidences are expected to come out good if medically treated well, except for Falciparum malaria. Falciparum malaria is the most dangerous kind or malaria, a is consider an extreme medical emergency that requires stay within a hospital. Hospitals usually asks for an IV to regulate fluids within the body, and also a reparation system is sometimes needed for support.

Prevention
For prevention of this disease, precautions must be take before entering areas known to harbor the virus. Native people of the area usually have an immunity to the disease, but visitors maybe very prone to it. If a visitor plans to travel to an area that has may foreign disease, they should begin receiving preparation treatment from there health care provider. Some preparations take up to even two weeks in advance to prepare the possibility of becoming infected. Preparation treatment consists of taking anti-malarial drugs to strengthen the immune system against the disease. For pregnant women, it will more beneficial to take the medication because it has a smaller risk compared to the risk of catching the disease. It is till highly possible that even after taking the medicine, a person my still become infected. While being in the environment, wearing protective clothing and bug repellent will ward of mosquitoes in the attempt that they try to bite.[4]

Complications

Blood samples being prepared for analysis as part of the malaria trial at the MU-UCSF Malaria Clinic of the Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda, May 2007).

Malarial complication should be treated as an extreme medical emergency because the results could easily be as fatal as death. Severe complications of malaria include things such as abnormalities and failures of internal organs. These complications can cause; brain infection, destruction of blood cells, kidney failure, liver failure, meningitis, failure from fluid in the lungs, and rupture of the spleen that leads to massive internal bleeding. The malarial infection of the brain will cause a patient to manifest cases of abnormal behavior, impairment of consciousness, seizures, coma, or other neurologic abnormalities. [4]

Brain activity is also affected by meningitis, which is the infection of spinal core membranes. Hemolytic anemia is one of the main complications that happens to the victim when infected with malaria because of which it uses to spread thought the body. Hemolytic anemia is the killing of red blood cell, in this case, from an infection. Cardiovascular collapse due to the infection is prevalent and can cause low blood pressure. Metabolic acidosis happens when acid levels in body fluids are too high, which is a result from an infection. This is often tide in relation to low blood glucose or hypoglycemia. Hyperparasitemia is the term used note that more then 5% of the total blood cell count in the body has been infected with the malarial virus. After the destruction of many blood cells, the hemoglobin within those blood cell will be released. When the hemoglobin reaches the bladder, the term hemoglobinuria is used to describe its mixture with the urine. Kidney failure from infection can cause the person to lose the ability to excrete waste. This process of shutting down tends to happen very fast, likely within two days time. Other organs, such as the liver and the spleen will either shut down, or rupture in severe situation. Blood clotting abnormalities are provoked by the infection. ARDS or acute respiratory distress syndrome is seen in patients that have inflamed lungs the prevents the flow of oxygen to the lungs. ARDS is also know to continue even after the parasite has left. Pulmonary edema is fluid in the lungs that causes failure of the respiratory system. [5]

References

  1. WHO. [1]] World Health Organization. Web. © WHO 2012 (copyright).
  2. CDC. [2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. August 9, 2012(updated and reviewed).
  3. CDC. [3]] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. September 19, 2012 (reviewed and updated).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. [4] PubMed Health. Web. June 9, 2011. (Last reviewed).
  5. CDC. [5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. February 8, 2010 (reviewed and updated).