Malaria, Caused by Mosquitos, Can Cause Death

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There are millions of diseases around the world today, all in wide varieties of viruses, protozoa, and parasites. Some diseases are treatable, preventable, and manageable while other diseases are much more complicated than that. Malaria for instance is a serious disease and if left untreated, it could cause further complications resulting in death.

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite, Mosquitos. The female Anopheles mosquito becomes infected by ingesting blood that is infected with the sexual forms of the parasite plasmodium and then bites a human that then transmits it to another. (Health Central, 2013) Plasmodium is single celled and can’t survive without a host. The parasite plasmodium has four different species that are responsible for malaria that humans are infected with. Plasmodium Vivax is the second to the worst of the stages and usually is seen in South East Asia and Latin America. Plasmodium Malariae has the least deaths and infections out of all. Plasmodium Ovale are the most complicated to determine and Plasmodium Falciparum is responsible for most malaria deaths around the world.

When testing for Malaria, the patient’s blood is drawn and is smeared on a slide to be examined under a microscope. The doctor that is examining the blood specimens will more than likely be looking for a nucleus that is a round shape that usually stains dark red. The Malaria itself is presented as a ring shape and ranges between the colors yellow and dark brown and sometimes black. (Basic Malaria Microscopy, 1999)

As soon as the malaria parasites hit the blood stream they start killing off red blood cells which causes flu like symptoms such as NVD, chills, tiredness, and muscle aches. Since these are all common symptoms, Malaria may be misdiagnosed at first. If the beginning stages of malaria are not treated severe malaria will start taking place with more severe symptoms including breathing difficulties, low blood sugar and coma. If these symptoms go untreated the disease will lead to death.

Since malaria could be difficult to diagnose, a test in the lab will have to be taken. A blood smear must be examined under a microscope to test for the parasites. A blood count and a routine chemistry panel will also be requested by the physician. If the patient does test positive for malaria they will also be given three more tests; all to test the severity of the disease. (Centers for Disease control and infection, 2012)
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