The disease of malaria caused by the bites of the so-called "malarial mosquitoes" is one of the oldest on the planet. The first mentions of the disease with similar symptoms were discovered even in the annals of the time of the reign of the Chinese dynasty of Xia, dated 2700 BC.Then, one-year-old wormwood was used to treat malaria, and later the healing properties of the cinchona were discovered.
Who causes malaria
Malaria, also known as "swamp fever", "intermittent fever", "paroxysmal malaria", is a parasitic disease. Malaria is caused by several species of protozoa, the disease is transmitted by a mosquito bite.
The malaria plasmodium is the causative agent of malaria, the simplest one, which during its life changes two hosts: a mosquito and a human. In the stomach of a mosquito, the sexual reproduction of plasmodia occurs with the release of up to 10,000 "children", which accumulate in the salivary glands of the insect. When bitten, malaria pathogens get into the human blood and from there migrate to the liver, where they undergo asexual reproduction, again increasing their numbers thousands of times, and destroy the liver cells, again enter the blood, where they enter into the red blood cells. There they ripen, forming male and female individuals, and with a new bite of a mosquito fall into his stomach to continue the cycle of reproduction.
In addition to pathogens of human malaria, there are more than 60 species of plasmodia, such as monkeys, birds, rodents, lizards. The number of identified species increases every year.
The causative agent of malaria was discovered in 1880 in Algeria by the French military doctor Charles Louis Alphonse Laverana, who later became an employee of the Pasteur Institute.
Symptoms and complications of malaria
Symptoms. The incubation period varies from 9 to 17 days for different types of malaria. In the northern regions( between 50 ° and 60 ° N), the incubation period of malaria caused by the so-called northern plasmodium strains may extend to 6-9 months.
Symptoms of malaria are fever attacks, in which the temperature rises to 40 ° C, the symptoms of intoxication develop, and then after 6-8 hours the fever quickly decreases. These cycles are repeated every 3 days with a three-day malaria, every 4 days - with a four-day and without stable patterns in the tropical.
How else is malaria manifested, and what complications is the disease fraught with?
The liver and spleen of infected people increase, anemia develops, a weak icteric staining of the sclera appears, then the skin turns yellow. Without treatment, the febrile period lasts up to 2 months. After 10-12 attacks, the patient's condition improves, but anemia and liver enlargement persist, a decrease in the amount of urine is observed. After about 2 months, fever attacks return. An untreated disease can last several years.
Complications. Severe complications of malaria are hepatic and renal failure. Dangerous recurrence of the disease, so the recovering patient is recommended to regularly measure the temperature, so as not to miss a new attack of fever.
Treatment and prevention of malaria
Treatment. There is a large number of special antimalarial drugs that destroy the pathogen at different stages of development. A specific medicine for the treatment of malaria, its dosage and the regimen should be determined by the doctor.
For renal or hepatic insufficiency, detoxification and intensive care are used.
Rational nutrition is of great importance for recovery. Diet for malaria is appointed from easily digestible, not conducive to flatulence and constipation products. The dishes containing coarse fiber, fatty, salty, indigestible are excluded. The food is cooked in chopped and grated form, boiled in water or steamed. The diet is 5-6 times a day in small portions. Of the drinks recommended sour-milk products, tea with lemon, loose tea and coffee with milk, diluted juices of fruits and berries, vegetables;broth of dogrose and wheat bran, fruit.
Prevention. One week before you leave for hot countries where malaria is possible, you should start a regular antimalarial drug that the infectious diseases specialist will choose, depending on the country where the trip is planned. Admission of the drug must continue throughout the entire stay in the tropical countries and one month after returning home.
To prevent malaria, mosquito repellent is recommended: lubricate open parts of the body with scaring agents( repellents), screen windows and doors with a net or gauze, and treat premises with aerosol insecticides.