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Symptoms of Malaria

Symptoms of Malaria: Introduction

The symptoms of malaria can resemble symptoms of influenza. They include fever, chills, nausea, headache, and fatigue.

The signs and symptoms of malaria are related to the reproduction of the malaria parasites in the liver and the spread of them into the bloodstream. In the blood, the plasmodia parasites of malaria destroy the red blood cells, which carry vital oxygen to the tissues of the body. The plasmodia parasites of malaria that stayed in the liver also continue to multiply and send more parasites into the blood.

In most forms of malaria, this process results in repeated bouts of symptoms as the parasites are released into the bloodstream. Symptoms first appear in about eight to 30 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. Repeated bouts or attacks occur every two to three days and typically include fever, fatigue, fever, nausea and chills.

Malaria can result in anemia (a decreased number or red blood cells), due to the destruction of red blood cells by the parasites. The remains of the destroyed red blood cells clump together and cause blockages in the blood vessels. This can result in brain damage or kidney damage, which is potentially fatal.

Attacks can occur for years if malaria is not diagnosed and treated. Eventually, the body's immune system may develop a defense against malaria attacks, and they may become less severe in some people. However, treatment is needed to cure most forms of malaria.

A particularly serious, potentially life-threatening, form of malaria is called falciparum malaria. In falciparum malaria all of the parasites that have reproduced in the liver are released into the bloodstream at the same time, which leads to one single extremely severe attack. Symptoms and complications include confusion, coma severe anemia, respiratory distress and death. If a person can survive a bout of falciparum malaria, repeat attacks do not recur....more about Malaria »

Symptoms of Malaria

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Malaria includes the 24 symptoms listed below:

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Malaria: Symptom Checkers

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Malaria: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Malaria: Complications

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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Malaria:

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Do I have Malaria?

Malaria: Medical Mistakes

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to Malaria:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Malaria?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Malaria includes:

Malaria: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Malaria:

Preventing Malaria in Infants and Children: DPD (Excerpt)

Malaria causes a flu-like illness; symptoms include fever, shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria symptoms will occur at least seven to nine days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Fever in the first week of travel in a malaria-risk area is unlikely to be malaria; however, ill travelers should still seek immediate medical care. Although malaria is unlikely to be the cause, any fever should be promptly evaluated. If you or your child becomes ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to 1 year after returning home, seek immediate medical care. Tell your health care provider where you have been traveling. (Source: excerpt from Preventing Malaria in Infants and Children: DPD)

Malaria, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

The disease begins with chills and, likely, a headache, nausea and vomiting. A fever develops and as it falls, a person is drenched in sweat. The symptoms can occur 10 to 16 days after infection and may appear in regular intervals of every two or three days. Depending on the species of parasite, an infected person may feel well between bouts and recover, or may never feel fine and can die from the disease. (Source: excerpt from Malaria, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Facts About Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria: CDC-OC (Excerpt)

Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and malaise. Early stages of malaria may resemble the onset of the flu. Travelers who become ill with a fever during or after travel in a malarious area should seek prompt medical attention and should inform their physician of their recent travel history. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria: CDC-OC)

Malaria as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Malaria, it is also important to consider Malaria as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Malaria may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Malaria: Onset and Incubation

Incubation period for Malaria: 10-16 days; 1-4 weeks depending on type; longer for people unsuccessfully taking antimalarials.

Incubation period for Malaria: Malaria symptoms can develop as soon as 6-8 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, or as late as several months after departure from a malarious area (after antimalarial drugs are discontinued). (Source: excerpt from Facts About Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria: CDC-OC)

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Malaria:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Malaria. This signs and symptoms information for Malaria has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Malaria signs or Malaria symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Malaria may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Malaria symptoms.


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