Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal, disease caused by a parasite. There are four kinds of malaria that can infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.
Malaria occurs in over 100 countries and territories. More than 40% of the people in the world are at risk. Large areas of Central and South America, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania are considered malaria-risk areas.
The World Health Organization estimates that yearly 300-500 million cases of malaria occur and more than 1 million people die of malaria. About 1,200 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. Most cases in the United States are in immigrants and travelers returning from malaria-risk areas, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
Humans get malaria from the bite of a malaria-infected mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected person, it ingests microscopic malaria parasites found in the person’s blood. The malaria parasite must grow in the mosquito for a week or more before infection can be passed to another person. If, after a week, the mosquito then bites another person, the parasites go from the mosquito’s mouth into the person’s blood. The parasites then travel to the person’s liver, enter the liver’s cells, grow and multiply. During this time when the parasites are in the liver, the person has not yet felt sick. The parasites leave the liver and enter red blood cells; this may take as little as 8 days or as many as several months. Once inside the red blood cells, the parasites grow and multiply. The red blood cells burst, freeing the parasites to attack other red blood cells. Toxins from the parasite are also released into the blood, making the person feel sick. If a mosquito bites this person while the parasites are in his or her blood, it will ingest the tiny parasites. After a week or more, the mosquito can infect another person.
Each year in the United States, a few cases of malaria result from blood transfusions, are passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy, or are transmitted by locally infected mosquitoes.
For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although a person may feel ill as early as 8 days or up to 1 year later. Two kinds of malaria, P. vivax and P. ovale, can relapse; some parasites can rest in the liver for several months up to 4 years after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. When these parasites come out of hibernation and begin invading red blood cells, the person will become sick.
Malaria is diagnosed by looking for the parasites in a drop of blood. Blood will be put onto a microscope slide and stained so that the parasites will be visible under a microscope.
Any traveler who becomes ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling and up to 1 year after returning home should immediately seek professional medical care. You should tell your health care provider that you have been traveling in a malaria-risk area.
Signs, symptoms & indicators of Malaria
Fatigue of recent onset
Having chills from an illness
Current atypical recent headaches
Unexplained high fevers or unexplained fevers that hit hard
Having a high/having a moderate/having a slight fever
Absence of 'chills'
Conditions that suggest Malaria
Absence of malaria
Risk factors for Malaria
Malaria suggests the following may be present
Malaria can lead to
Recommendations for Malaria
Wormwood contains artemisinin which has proved to be a dramatically effective anti-malarial. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90% effective and more successful than standard drugs. In a trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease.
Artemisinin should be reserved for treating multidrug-resistant malaria. Artemisinin and its derivatives have an essential role to play in the treatment of multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria. The remarkable properties of these drugs are particularly valuable in the treatment of severe and complicated malaria caused by multidrug-resistant P. falciparum. Malaria mortality in Viet Nam dropped by 92% when these drugs were used on a nationwide basis from 1992 to 1996.
Artemisinin tends to be more expensive than other antimalarials, which has restricted its use in Africa. It is useful in both prevention and treatment of malaria. Some manufacturers of Wormwood extracts suggest taking a whole bottle (containing perhaps 150mg artemisinin) during travel to an area where malaria is present as a preventive.
Compounds in garlic have been shown to be an effective treatment for malaria. Does eating garlic influence the outcome of malaria? There is evidence that yes, it may. The compounds, called disulfides, occur naturally in garlic, onions and mahogany trees, and are known to have antifungal, anticancer and antibacterial properties. For years scientists have suspected one of these compounds in garlic may be helpful against malaria, and have proven it in animal models.
It is believed that the mechanism of action may be through the glutathione system within the cell. Glutathione is a small protein that plays a crucial role in protecting the cell. It neutralizes potentially harmful oxygen molecules, boosts the immune system and rids the cell of toxins. Without it, cells could not survive. The protein is of particular importance in cells that rapidly reproduce, like cancer cells or malaria-infected cells.
Ajoene, the disulfide that naturally occurs in garlic, is a known inhibitor of glutathione reduction. Normal cells recharge glutathione and therefore are able to deal with the oxidative stress that normal metabolism generates, but in the presence of an inhibitor they, cannot recharge and therefore are more prone damage and eventually death.
While more research is necessary, it would seem appropriate for anyone fighting or threatened by malaria to consume more garlic.
Oct. 2011 An experimental malaria vaccine has for the first time been shown to safely protect large numbers of children against the mosquito-borne scourge. The study involving more than 15,000 newborns and babies in seven African countries found the vaccine cut the risk of being infected with the malaria parasite by about half and the chances of getting deathly ill from an infection by more than a third. While far below the protection provided by many widely used vaccines for other diseases, the results were hailed as a major advance toward one of the elusive goals in medicine.
There are reports of colloidal silver being used successfully in Africa for malaria. It has been difficult to substantiate these claims, so nothing further is being reported at this time.
|Weak or unproven link
|Strong or generally accepted link
|Proven definite or direct link
|Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
|May do some good
|Likely to help
An organism living in or on another organism.
Red Blood Cell
Any of the hemoglobin-containing cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and are responsible for the red color of blood.
Chronic Renal Failure
(CRF) Irreversible, progressive impaired kidney function. The early stage, when the kidneys no longer function properly but do not yet require dialysis, is known as Chronic Renal Insufficiency (CRI). CRI can be difficult to diagnose, as symptoms are not usually apparent until kidney disease has progressed significantly. Common symptoms include a frequent need to urinate and swelling, as well as possible anemia, fatigue, weakness, headaches and loss of appetite. As the disease progresses, other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bad breath and itchy skin may develop as toxic metabolites, normally filtered out of the blood by the kidneys, build up to harmful levels. Over time (up to 10 or 20 years), CRF generally progresses from CRI to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD, also known as Kidney Failure). Patients with ESRD no longer have kidney function adequate to sustain life and require dialysis or kidney transplantation. Without proper treatment, ESRD is fatal.
While there are over 40 types of seizure, most are classed as either partial seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain is limited to one area or generalized seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain encompasses the entire organ. Although there is a wide range of signs, they mainly include such things as falling to the ground; muscle stiffening; jerking and twitching; loss of consciousness; an empty stare; rapid chewing/blinking/breathing. Usually lasting from between a couple of seconds and several minutes, recovery may be immediate or take up to several days.