Malaria is acute transmissible infectious disease characterized by recurrent attacks of fever, anemia, enlarged liver and spleen. They call it swamp fever, as well. Malaria causes about 350-500 million infections and approximately 1,3-3 million deaths: at least one death every 30 seconds. Nearly 85-90% of cases happen in Africa.
The disease exciter is protist of the genus Plasmodium.
Now malaria is registered in over a hundred countries. It is widely spread in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.
The source of infection is a sick man and some kinds of monkeys, mainly in tropics
The reason of infection is a female mosquito’s bite. The infective mosquitos are seriously dangerous in the warm season. Sometimes infection occurs due to the infected blood transfusion, surgery, childbirth and using insufficiently sterilized instruments.
The main symptoms of the disease are fever, shivering, arthralgia, vomiting and anemia. Fever attack occurs as a rule in the morning and begins with shaking chills lasting 1,5-2 hours. They may be preceded by muscle pain and splitting headache. The patient's condition rapidly gets worse. The face of sick person becomes pale and dyspnea is often observed. Body temperature rises to 39-40° C and even higher. The list of symptoms is added by defeat of the nervous system, vomiting, tachycardia, low blood pressure and herpes. At the end of the attack, the patient sweats plentifully, the body temperature dramatically decreases and the patient is in great need of falling asleep. Duration of attack depends on the type of exciter: the three-day malaria – attack lasts up to 12-14 hours, the four-day malaria – up to 20 hours, the tropical malaria – up to 24-36 hours. When the third attack passed the spleen and liver become larger.
If speaking about complications, the rapture of spleen can be observed. The cerebral ischemia can happen as well. Without intensive treating course, an infected person can overcome 10-12 attacks before he/she dies.
Some drugs, mostly used for treatment of malaria, are useful for prevention, too. One should take these medicines at a lower dose daily or weekly. Since the early 17th century people used quinine as prophylactic measures. Prophylactic effect does not begin immediately. So, doctors suggest starting taking preventive medication for 1-2 weeks before arrival at the danger zone and 1-4 weeks after getting back. Malaria belongs to the kind of diseases that require strict sanitary protection of the territory and necessary patients’ registration. In order to avoid the mosquito bites, people use insect repellent and netting on the windows. Nowadays scientists work on creating an effective type of vaccine. However, they have not achieved any noticeable success. In other words, today’s anti-malaria vaccine is not that effective.
As far as the source of infection is an infected person, he/she should be taken to the hospital immediately for the sake of both their own health care and safety of other people. Doctors usually treat infected people using the following drugs: quinine, halofantrine, mefloquine, chloroquine. There is a good chance to get rid of malaria getting treatment early in the course of disease. Delay of appropriate therapy may have serious or even fatal consequences.
This disease appears to be dangerous for people living in endemic areas, although there is no lack of anti-malarial drugs on the market. There is not free access to effective drugs in such countries.