Last updated:01-15-2009
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Definition and causes

Malaria is an infectious disease, providing a fever and flu-like symptoms. The disease caused by the single-celled parasitePlasmodium. Malaria is bad air and transferred to humans by certain species of mosquitoes. Humans and mosquitoes are the only species that are infected with the parasite and mosquito infecting humans and vice versa.

Malaria is one of the biggest health problems in the world, and it is estimated that up to 2-300 million people are infected each year and that up to 2 million people each year die of the disease.

Malaria is widespread in the tropics and subtroperne in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. See also the Statens Serum Institut ( for information on malaria areas. The disease was formerly widespread in southern Europe, and there appeared regularly epidemics in northern Europe, including in Denmark. Malaria has been eradicated in Denmark the last 100 years. In Denmark diagnosed around. 150-200 new cases of malaria each year. These are im


Plasmodium found in four forms. Three forms of Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium oval and Plasmodium malaria, providing benign malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, giving malignant malaria, and are responsible for virtually all deaths from malaria.

Malaria infects know that a malariamyg who are infected with Plasmodium, the parasite carries around in his intestines and salivary glands and transmit the parasite to humans when they become stuck. Subsequently, the parasites invade liver cells where the parasites divide to form more parasites. When the parasites are fully developed, released to the bloodstream.

In vivax malaria and oval shapes, some of the parasites go into a sleep mode in liver cells, and only go down in the bloodstream several months later. In bloodstream parasites attack the red blood cells where the parasites share further. Finally, bursting the red blood corpuscle, and the parasites are released. These can then attack the new red blood cells, or they can be transferred to other mosquitoes when they are burying the infected pe


Symptoms of malaria

Symptoms occur 10-30 days after infection, depending on the type of parasite.


  • Sudden fever (this is typically the first and most characteristic symptom). Fever is high (usually above 40 degrees), supplies a few hours at a time (see progress) and is accompanied by chills.
  • Flu-like symptoms (see Influenza).
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.


Precautions and diagnosis

If you reside in malaria-affected areas (where they are, you should consult with her doctor), you can take several precautions. You have to take long clothes on and inflict the insect repellent from sunset to sunrise (myggen malaria is most active at night). It is important to use mosquito nets around the bed at night.

Moreover, we must take preventive malaria medicines. In many places, myggene resistant to certain types of malaria medicine, and this is something you should discuss with her doctor. So one can become infected, even if you take preventative medicine. Sometimes medication partially effective. Typically begins with malaria drugs a week before departure to a malaria area, and we continue to take medication for approx. one month after return. By staying in certain

If you weeks to months after return receive high fever, you should consult a doctor, and remember to indicate where it has been.


The diagnosis is made by, are the parasites in the blood. It takes a blood sample, and then look at the blood in microscope. In this way it can determine whether someone is infected or not and what type of malaria, possibly Monday. are infected with.


Treatment of Malaria

There are many ways of treating malaria. Most are in tablet form, and several of them are the same as those used for prevention. If you are infected with oval or vivax, one should first be treated with a way to beat the disease down, and then another to kill the parasites that might. is in sleep mode. In malignant malaria should know a parasite rate of over 5% (ie more than 5% of the red blood cells infected) treated with

The treatment of malaria requires hospitalization as malignant malaria can rapidly evolve to be life threatening. When treated, the symptoms usually disappear quickly in the course of hours to a few days.


Malaria is found mostly as seizures, which are very sick, and then a period where it is relatively unaffected (except if you are heavily infected). As mentioned symptoms seen between 10-30 days after that you have been infected, depending on the species being infected. This period may be extended if you take preventative medicine, but becomes infected.

The classic malaria attacks typically takes about 10 hours, and often divided into three stages. First a stage where the temperature rises rapidly, accompanied by chills and affected the general condition. Then the temperature stabilizes, and you have nausea and vomiting, possibly. delir (it is very unclear) at very high fever. Finally fall temperatures, accompanied by severe sweating tours and fatigue.

Anfallen advances coincide with the parasites are released into the blood. Initially it will be more or less randomly, and the symptoms will be more uncharacteristically example. with irregular or constant low-grade fever. After several days synchronize the time when the parasites are released, and this gives therefore reflected in the typical attack. By infection with falciparum, oval and vivax this happens every two days, and fever seen in the first and third days

By infection with benign malaria infection usually disappears by itself over weeks to months. But untreated malignant malaria can cause death within a few days.

If you grow up in a malaria area and is exposed to repeated infections, will be within four to five years to develop immunity against the disease (provided you survive). This immunity, however, requires the maintenance of malaria infections and stay in the six months to a year outside the malaria field will lead to immunity disappears.


There are a number of serious complications associated with malaria. The vast majority of those seen only in malignant malaria. All forms show:


  • Anemia (anemia). Parasites destroy red blood cells to burst them.
The malignant form can be seen many complications:
  • In malignant malaria can decay of red blood cells become so large that the body needs to get rid of hemoglobin (the red dye in red blood cells, which is the substance that carries oxygen around in the blood) in the urine, which becomes quite dark. Hence, it is sometimes used the nameBlackwater fever.
  • Kidney failure due to accumulation of toxic substances normally excreted in the kidneys. This in itself may also cause many symptoms, including further anemia.
  • Lungs may be affected, and you can get pulmonary edema and Ards.
  • Liver Effect including jaundice as a result.
  • Scattered bleeding.
  • Low blood pressure and circulatory shock.
  • Malaria can attack the central nervous system (brain and spi

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