The Life Threatening Disease of Malaria

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Malaria is a preventable and treatable, yet life-threatening disease. It is an infection of the blood that is spread to humans by pregnant Anopheles mosquitos (“What is Malaria?” 2014). According to Medical News Today, “The word malaria comes from 18th century Italian mala meaning ‘bad’ and aria meaning ‘air.’ Most likely, the term was first used by Dr. Francisco Torti, Italy, when people thought the disease was caused by foul air in marshy areas” (“What is Malaria?” 2014). Symptoms include chills, fatigue, headache, high temperature, nausea, sweats, tiredness and vomiting. These symptoms also differ in severity depending on the case. Roughly 40% of the world is at risk of developing Malaria in their lifetime. Interestingly. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention illuminates, “About 1,500 people are diagnosed in the U.S. with malaria each year. The vast majority were infected abroad” (“What is Malaria?” 2014). There are five types of the malaria parasite: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium falciparum, and Plasmodium knowlesi (“What is Malaria?” 2014). Plasmodium vivax, malariae, and ovale are all milder forms of the disease. The most deadly form of the parasite is Plasmodium falciparum. Much like many other life-threatening diseases, it is most commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa. Patients with this form are more likely to become seriously ill, and consequently die from the infection. In addition, Plasmodium knowlesi, another malaria parasite, causes the disease in macaques, a type of monkey, but can also infect humans (About Malaria 2014). The process of infection is similar to that of the septicemic plague, as they both infect the blood stream. However, the development of malaria t... ... middle of paper ... ...need to be sure to take precautionary measures to ensure they are not infected during their travels, for example, taking prescribed anti-malarial medications. Those who live in these malaria-stricken areas must be sure to avoid mosquito bites and use vector control such as sprays and insecticide-treated bed nets. Medical News Today explains,“If malaria is diagnosed and treated early on, the duration of the infection can be considerably reduced, which in turn lowers the risk of complications and death” (“What is Malaria?” 2014). References “What is Malaria?” 2014. Medical News Today. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com (last accessed 14 April 2014). “About Malaria” 2014. Malaria No More. http://www.malarianomore.org/ (last accessed 14 April 2014). Shannon, G. “Malaria.” 2014. Lecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, April 12, 2014.

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