Malaria: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a disease caused by an infection of the red blood cells with a tiny organism. This is a mosquito borne infectious disease. Malaria is contracted by the bite of mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito (the Anopheles mosquito) bites you, it injects the malaria parasites into your blood. 

Recovery Time

The time it will take to recover will depend on symptoms, health, age and the type of the parasite infected with, but most people start to feel better two days after having treatment. The disease will be cure only after one takes the drugs. There are very good treatment modules available for malaria and it is not a scary disease any more.


Malaria is usually confirmed by the microscopic examination of blood films or by antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDT).
  • Microscopy is the most commonly used method to detect the malarial parasite
  • Rapid Diagnostic Tests are based on the detection of circulating parasite antigens.
  • Other test that is newly available is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which detects malaria DNA. 

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Malaria?
Malaria is an acute infectious disease caused by a Protozoa called Plasmodium and transmitted by Female anopheles mosquito. It is associated with high grade fever, chills and rigor. Fever typically occurs in a cyclical fashion, with fever and chills occur every 2-3days.

Q2.  How do I get Malaria?
If you get bitten by female anopheles mosquito harvesting Plasmodium in its saliva, then you will get Malaria.

Q3.  What is the treatment for Malaria?
Chloroquine is the drug of choice for treatment of malaria. In Malaria caused by Falciparum which are chloroquine resistant, they are treated with Artesunate.

Q4.  How long does it take to cure?
Malaria is usually cured within 3-5 days of treatment with proper medication. Prophylaxis medication is given for 14days to prevent relapse of Malaria.

Q5.  How do I prevent Malaria?
You can prevent Malaria by taking adequate precaution against mosquito bites and taking prophylactic medication while travelling in endemic countries.  Locally prevent breeding of mosquitos in your surroundings.

Q6.  What are the complications of Malaria?
Malaria if not treated adequately may cause respiratory distress, Acute Renal failure (Black-water fever) and Cerebral Malaria (if caused by P. Falciparum) and Death.

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