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Doctor insights on: How Does Malaria Infect The Body

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How does malaria infect the body?

How does malaria infect the body?

Mosquito bites: A mosquito bites an infected person. The organism evolves in the mosquito. It then bites another person and the parasites get into their blood stream where they spread to the liver, evolve further and reproduce to be released into the blood intermittantly causing disease. This new person can now be bitten by another mosquito to continue the cycle. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
355 doctors shared insights

Malaria (Definition)

The word comes from italian "mala aria" (bad air), from the belief the disease was caused by unhealthy air in swampy districts. Spread by mosquitoes, the parasite enter the bloodstream & infect red blood cells causing high fever, shaking chills, sweats, vomiting, muscle pain, headache, anemia. First symptoms occur 10 days to 4 weeks post infection, symptoms occur in cycles of ...Read more


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Where am I more likely to be bitten by a malaria infected mosquito?

Where am I more likely to be bitten by a malaria infected mosquito?

Tropical climates: The types of mosquitos that carry the malarial parasite are quite rare in the continental United States, and are typically found in hot and muggy climates, especially in the rain forest. ...Read more

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Can malaria infect by unborn child?

Can malaria infect by unborn child?

Yes but low risk: The rate of infection during pregnancy depends on many factors, but remains low. It is about 1% in moms who have developed anti-malaria antibodies and about 10% in those that have not. However, i would be more concerned about the health of the baby as the parasite may pack the placenta and reduce oxygen delivered to the baby. Seek care from a ob/gyn who has experience with high risk pregnancies. ...Read more

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Curious as to why can't treatment with drugs stop people from being infected with malaria?

Curious as to why can't treatment with drugs stop people from being infected with malaria?

It can!: There are numerous drugs available to help prevent malaria when one is traveling to endemic areas. The drugs recommended vary from location to location. The cdc website has a good section for the traveling public on this. As an aside - and possibly for future reference if it actually works - a malaria vaccine is under development, and initial studies are promising. ...Read more

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If you get malaria infected blood on your wounded finger can you become infected?

Extremely unlikely: Malaria has a complex life cycle: the parasite goes through one evolution in the mosquito which then injects the next form into you while biting. This form is quickly taken up by the liver for another evolution to turn into the form which infects your red blood cells. Another form becomes ready for the next mosquito. It is almost impossible to be directly infected by a small blood exposure. ...Read more

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Can you tell me how the body defends itself against malaria?

Can you tell me how the body defends itself against malaria?

Body fights malaria: Certainly our immune systems are very advanced -& will do everything to 'fight' against a serious infection like malaria. The immune system actually has many 'layers' to it and in an malarial infection many of those are activated. Fever is one-turning up the heat makes it harder for the parasites. Then there is the complement system, cellular immunity: B-cells & T-cells, plus immune organs -spleen ...Read more

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How does malaria affect the body?

How does malaria affect the body?

Malaria Symptoms: may include headache, fever, shivering, sweating, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dry cough, muscle/joint/back pain & enlarged spleen. There is a cyclic pattern of being very cold & shivering followed by feeling very hot and sweating. Additionally one can develop jaundice, blood in urine, anemia, eye problems (nystagmus, problems with eye movements), seizures & coma. ...Read more