preview

Malaria Essay

Better Essays
How can we stop malaria?
Malaria is a disease which effect both humans and animals and it is caused by the spread of the Plasmodium parasite. This parasite uses the female Anopheles mosquito as vector in order to infect a human or animal with the parasite; when a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, sporozoites enter the blood and travel to the liver. In the liver they divide to become merozites which then move back into the bloodstream where they infect red blood cells. In the red blood cells they divide further, exploding from the cells every 48-72 hours causing waves of illness. The infected human is then bitten again and the mosquito takes up the merozites and goes on to affect another. [1] This is also shown in figure 1.
The first symptoms of malaria can include headache, diarrhoea and vomiting followed by a fever a day or so later. However, due to the parasite staying in the blood cells for 48-72 hours people suffer from waves of illness in the form of malaria attacks. These attacks take place in three stages which are shivering, hotness and sweating which can last for 4-8 hours. It can take 7-14 days for symptoms to appear after a bite due to the incubation period of the parasite and, it is possible for the parasite to lay dormant in the liver for months after infection. The period the parasite lays dormant for depends on the species of Plasmodium a person is infected with. [3]
There are four species of the Plasmodium parasite which affect humans these are: o Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) which is found in Africa, it is the common type of malaria parasite and causes the most deaths. This species can lay dormant for 6 months after a bite but normally will show symptoms within a month. o Plasmodium vivax (P. viva...

... middle of paper ...

... as Suppressive Prophylaxis for Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Clinical Infectious Diseases 27 (3): 494-499
[9] NHS Choices (2014) Malaria – Antimalarials http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Malaria/Pages/Treatment.aspx [Accessed 16 March 2014]
[10] Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/drugs.html [Accessed 16 March 2014]
[11] BBC News (2013) UK firm seeks to market world's first malaria vaccine http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24431510 [Accessed16 March 2014]
[12] The RTS,S Clinical Trials Partnership (2012) A Phase 3 Trial of RTS,S/AS01 Malaria Vaccine in African Infants The New England Journal of Medicine 367:2284-2295
[13] Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) Insecticide-Treated Bed Nets http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/malaria_worldwide/reduction/itn.html [Accessed 18 March 2014]
Get Access