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HOW IT IS CURED

Clinical picture

Symptoms of simple malaria can be particularly vague.

The disease may not be properly diagnosed if healthcare professionals are unaware that malaria is a possibility.

Given the fact that malaria, if left untreated, can progress to severe forms that can quickly be fatal (less than 24 hours), should always be taken into consideration in the case of patients who have a history of exposure (mainly in the case of previous trips or residence in affected areas).

The most frequent symptoms include fever and chills, which can be associated with headache, myalgia, arthralgia, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea. Additional clinical symptoms include splenomegaly, anemia, thrombocytopenia, hypoglycemia, pulmonary or renal dysfunction and neurological changes.

The clinical picture can vary greatly depending on the infecting species, the level of parasitemia and the condition of the patient's immune system. The infections caused by P. falciparum are among those that can more easily become serious and potentially fatal; they involve the central nervous system (brain malaria) and can cause acute renal failure, severe anemia or acute respiratory failure syndrome.

Other species can also cause serious symptoms. The complications given by P. vivax include splenomegaly (with rarely splenic rupture) while those given by P. malariae include nephrotic syndrome.

COUNTRY

AREAS AFFECTED

RESISTANCE TO DRUGS

TYPE OF MALARIA

RECOMMENDED PROPHYLAXIS

Senegal

All

Chloroquine

Falciparum > 85%
Ovale 5-10%
Vivax           rare

Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine

Gambia

All

Chloroquine

Falciparum >85%
Ovale         5-10%
Malariae & Vivax               rare

Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine

 

Malaria can be a serious and potentially life-threatening disease - particularly when caused by P. falciparum - for which therapy should begin as soon as possible.

A continuous intravenous infusion should be administered in the case of patients suffering from severe malaria caused by P. falciparum or who cannot take oral medications.

Most of the drugs used for therapeutic purposes work against the parasitic form in the blood (the one that causes the disease) and include:

  • chloroquine
  • atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone®)
  • artemether-lumefantrina (Coartem®)
  • mefloquine (Lariam®)
  • quinine
  • quinidine
  • doxycycline (used in combination with quinine)
  • clindamycin (used in combination with quinine)
  • artesunate

Primachin is also active against the dormant liver form of the parasite (hypnozoites) and prevents any relapses. Primachin should not be taken by pregnant women or by people with a deficiency of G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase). Patients should not take primachin until a control test has ruled out a deficiency of G6PD.

Treatment of a malaria patient depends on:

  • the type (species) of the infecting parasite
  • the area where the infection was contracted and the state of resistance to antimalarial drugs
  • the clinical picture of the patient
  • other medical conditions or diseases
  • a state of pregnancy
  • allergies to medications or other medicines taken by the patient

https://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/malaria/index.html



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Last update: 18:07 - 08/04/2021
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