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Malaria Diagnosis

Malaria Diagnosis

 

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease which can cause death if not treated in time. The pathogen of malaria belongs to the Plasmodium type.

 

Worldwide: 214 million cases, 438,000 people died in 2015. More than 3 billion people live in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories.

 

US: ~1500 cases diagnosed each year, Reported malaria cases reached a 40-year high of 1925 in 2011.

Three malaria-related mosquito species (Anopheles quadrimaculatus, An. freeborni, An. pseudopunctipennis) still inhabit in U.S., thus there is a constant risk that malaria could be reintroduced in the United States.

 

Malaria Diagnosis

 

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease which can cause death if not treated in time. The pathogen of malaria belongs to the Plasmodium type.

 

Worldwide: 214 million cases, 438,000 people died in 2015. More than 3 billion people live in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories.

 

US: ~1500 cases diagnosed each year, Reported malaria cases reached a 40-year high of 1925 in 2011.

Three malaria-related mosquito species (Anopheles quadrimaculatus, An. freeborni, An. pseudopunctipennis) still inhabit in U.S., thus there is a constant risk that malaria could be reintroduced in the United States.

 

Symptoms

 

Malaria is an acute febrile illness. In a non-immune individual, symptoms appear 7 days or more (usually 10–15 days) after the infective mosquito bite. The first symptoms – fever, headache, chills and vomiting – may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.

 

Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory distress in relation to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria. In adults, multi-organ involvement is also frequent. In malaria endemic areas, people may develop partial immunity, allowing asymptomatic infections to occur.

 

Who is at risk?

 

In 2015, approximately 3.2 billion people – nearly half of the world's population – were at risk of malaria. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Asia, Latin America, and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East, are also at risk. In 2015, 95 countries and territories had ongoing malaria transmission.

 

Some population groups are at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria, and developing severe disease, than others. These include infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as non-immune migrants, mobile populations and travellers. National malaria control programmes need to take special measures to protect these population groups from malaria infection, taking into consideration their specific circumstances.

 

Prevention

 

Vector control is the main way to prevent and reduce malaria transmission. If coverage of vector control interventions within a specific area is high enough, then a measure of protection will be conferred across the community.

 

WHO recommends protection for all people at risk of malaria with effective malaria vector control. Two forms of vector control – insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying – are effective in a wide range of circumstances.

 

Diagnosis and treatment

 

Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria reduces disease and prevents deaths. It also contributes to reducing malaria transmission. The best available treatment, particularly for P. Falciparum malaria, is artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).

 

It is recommended that all cases of suspected malaria be confirmed using parasite-based diagnostic testing (either microscopy or rapid diagnostic test) before administering treatment. Results of parasitological confirmation can be available in 30 minutes or less. Treatment, solely on the basis of symptoms should only be considered when a parasitological diagnosis is not possible.

 

 

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