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World Malaria Day 2024: 10 Signs and Symptoms of Malaria

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World Malaria Day 2024: 10 Signs and Symptoms of Malaria

World Malaria Day, observed on April 25 each year, offers an important opportunity to raise awareness about malaria, a serious infectious disease caused by parasites transmitted through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Early detection of the signs and symptoms of malaria is crucial for prompt diagnosis and treatment, which can prevent complications and limit the spread of the disease. This year, as we focus on increasing awareness and education, here are the top 10 signs and symptoms of malaria you should be mindful of.

1. Fever
A high fever is one of the most common symptoms of malaria, typically occurring in cycles that align with the life cycle of the malaria parasite. Periodic fever with chills and rigors is almost pathognomonic of malaria, according to Dr. Seema Dhir, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Artemis Hospital Gurugram. It is essential to seek medical attention if you or someone you know experiences recurring episodes of high fever.

2. Headaches
Malaria can cause persistent headaches, ranging from mild to severe. These headaches may be debilitating and may not respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers. If you notice intense, recurring headaches, consider a malaria test as a precaution.

3. Fatigue
Extreme fatigue and weakness are common in malaria cases. This profound tiredness may linger even after the fever has subsided, affecting your ability to perform daily tasks. Persistent fatigue should prompt a visit to your healthcare provider.

4. Muscle and Joint Pain
People with malaria often report muscle aches and joint pain, presenting symptoms similar to the flu. This discomfort can interfere with normal activities and may persist during the illness.

5. Nausea and Vomiting
Malaria can provoke gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These issues may lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which require careful management.

6. Loss of Appetite
A sudden loss of appetite is commonly associated with malaria and may lead to weight loss and nutritional deficiencies if not addressed promptly. It is crucial to monitor food intake and seek medical advice if appetite loss persists.

7. Jaundice
In severe malaria cases, jaundice may develop due to liver dysfunction. Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, dark urine, and pale stools are signs of jaundice. If you notice these symptoms, immediate medical attention is advised.

8. Enlarged Spleen
The spleen plays a key role in the immune response to malaria infection. In some instances, the spleen may become enlarged, causing abdominal discomfort and tenderness. An enlarged spleen may be detectable by physical examination.

9. Confusion and Delirium
In severe malaria cases, neurological symptoms can emerge, including confusion, delirium, seizures, and coma. These symptoms are serious and require urgent medical care.

10. Anemia
Malaria parasites destroy red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Anemia symptoms include weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath. If you suspect anemia, it is important to seek medical evaluation.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of malaria can be life-saving. Early detection and treatment can prevent complications and reduce the spread of the disease. As we mark World Malaria Day 2024, let’s commit to raising awareness and educating others about this serious infectious disease.

Take Action Today
Stay vigilant and informed, and take action if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms. Early medical intervention can save lives and support the global effort to combat malaria. For expert care and personalized advice, schedule an appointment with an internal medicine specialist at Artemis Hospitals. We are here to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment to help you or your loved ones stay healthy and safe.

Visit Artemis Hospitals to book an appointment today.

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