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Malaria by Mostafa Mehanpoor

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Malaria is a deadly disease caused by a mosquito bite that is infected with malaria parasites. The disease does not harm mosquitoes but is very deadly if found in humans. According to CDC.gov 216 million cases relating to malaria were reported in 2010 alone and 655,000 people died, most (91%) of which occurred in the African Region.

Signs of malaria include shaking chills, flu-like illness, headache, throwing up, sweating, nausea, muscle pain, and high fevers. Even though malaria is a very deadly disease, it can be prevented in Countries where Health care is widely available. In the US, 1,500 cases are diagnosed each year, mostly from travelers and immigrants returning from other countries. Malaria is very common in humid and warm regions where parasites can easily thrive.

The malaria parasites are found only in female mosquitoes’ salivary glands as “Sporozoites”. When these mosquitoes feed on human blood, they transfer their saliva along with the malaria parasites (Sporozoites) into the bloodstream. When in the bloodstream, the parasites replicate in the human’s liver and infect the liver cells where they mature into ‘schizonts”. From “schizonts” they rupture and release “merozoites”. These merozoites travel in red blood cells and destroy them, as they are destroying the red blood cells they continue their cycle through all the red blood cells as merozoites. Anemia, which is caused by the destruction of red blood cells, is the stage that causes all of the symptoms of malaria. The cycle continues as the female mosquitoes feed on human blood and carry the infected erythrocyte in their saliva to another human.

Prevention of this disease in the US is very likely due to available health care throughout the region. When infected with the disease, you should contact your doctor or the CDC Malaria Hotline (770-488-7788) as soon as possible.

Malaria is found in almost every Country, but the effects of the disease are not the same everywhere. Factors such as age, weight, and pregnancy status can affect how treatable the disease will be.  In Countries where healthcare and healthcare knowledge is limited, being infected with the disease is deadly. Even though malaria is not contagious, in areas where the population is very dense, the disease is easily spread by a mosquito bite.





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