Malaria
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Malaria

(Imported from other countries) 

Malaria is caused by malarial parasite, Plasmodium species. A protozoal infection transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito, mostly between sunset and sunrise. Also transmission occurs by injection or transfusion of blood of infected person or by use of contaminated needles and syringes, congenital transmission is rare.

It is found in Asia, Africa and Central and South America.


Reservoir
Humans are the only important reservoir of human malaria.


Incubation period
Varies from 12 to 30 days, from the infected bite to the signs of the disease.


Signs and Symptoms
Persons taking prophylactic drugs or who are partially immune and contract the disease may show an atypical clinical picture.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Jaundice
  • Coagulation defects
  • Renal and hepatic failure
  • Acute encephalopathy
  • Pulmonary and cerebral oedema
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Shock


Diagnosis
Thick peripheral blood film (to demonstrate parasite)


Treatment
Prompt and adequate treatment is required for the prevention of complications and relapses.
Treatment (prescribed by medical doctor) includes: chloroquine, primaquine, quinine, doxycycline, Fansidar and mefloquine.
Follow WHO scheme http://www.who.int/tdr/diseases/malaria/default.htm


Control and Prevention

  • In endemic area, the use of impregnated insect screens, night spraying of sleeping area with a suitable insecticide.
  • If a person is infected with malaria he should not donate blood.
  • Inform all travellers going to endemic areas on the risk of malarial infection and how they can protect themselves.
  • Travellers should be aware that no antimalarial prophylactic regime gives complete protection.
  • Before one starts the antimalarial treatment, always inquire about allergies, skin infections, and the side effects of drug therapy must be explained to persons.
  • Immunization centre, Floriana Health Centre or the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit, can be consulted as regards prophylaxis.​