Is it a malaria symptom?

What is a typical malaria symptom?

Just back from a tropical holiday? – feeling tired and full of ‘flu’, aching joints, headache?…don’t ignore it, each of these could be a symptom of malaria!

Malaria is a disease caused by microscopic protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which are transmitted into the blood stream by being bitten by a mosquito carrying the disease after feeding from another infected source. As the parasite multiplies in the bloodstream a variety of symptoms of malaria are produced.

Malaria may cause the victim to exhibit some, or all, of the following up to 30 days after initial infection – each of these is a typical malaria symptom:

  • Lethargy and general feeling of being unwell – feeling ‘fluey’
  • Headache
  • High temperature
  • Nausea
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Fever
  • Severe sweating
  • Joint pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Convulsions

    And after prolonged untreated infection:

  • Coma
  • Severe anaemia – often a major contributing factor to death

    Typically malaria symptoms may subside after some days but then re-emerge a few days later. If you should start to develop ‘flu-like’ feeling a week or so after visiting a region known for malaria it could be a malaria symptom so it is important to seek medical advice and appropriate testing as soon as possible.

    Seek medical advice without delay

    It is vital that you seek urgent attention should you even have a remote suspicion that you might have been infected with malaria. This is because the longer it goes untreated the more likely the disease will become well established, causing more severe physical damage and potentially lead to a long period of convalescence at best…and death at worst.

    Also, whilst you are infected you pose a risk to other people, especially if you are still in an area that hosts the Anopheles mosquito. They could bite you and infect many others with the disease. So it is important you do not delay in seeing a doctor.

    It is also wise to consider that prevention is better than cure, and to take sensible precautions in advance of your trip and whilst on holiday. If you haven’t visited our advice page please have a look now and see the best precautions you can take to avoid even the remote possibility of contracting malaria!

    Stay safe, and enjoy your holiday.

    Ruth & Esther

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