Malaria

By: Kai Pilla

What is Malaria?

Simply put, Malaria is a fever caused by a parasite that gets into blood cells.

How do you get Malaria?

One can contract a malarial infection by getting bitten by an Anopheles mosquito that has the P. virax, P. falciparum, P. malarie, or P. ovale parasites. These parasites have a very complex life cycle.
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Life cycle of the Malaria causing Parasites

The parasite can start out in the human liver, human blood cell, or a mosquito's gut. If the parasite starts out in the mosquito, it then gets transferred into a human when the mosquito sucks blood. Fortunately for the mosquito, the parasite uses it as a vector. This means the mosquito isn't affected. From there it continues to the liver. Inside the liver, the protozoan infects liver cells. The liver cell, now full of parasites, explodes releasing the parasite. From the liver it goes and infects red blood cells. It does pretty much the same thing here: reproduce until the cell bursts. The Malaria fever comes from the toxins that the parasite produces while inside a cell. So when the cell bursts, the toxins get released along with the parasites. Now from here the parasite reproduces sexually. When a mosquito takes another meal, it sucks up the parasites. In the mosquito the parasites reproduce asexually and wait until the mosquito bites another human....

What is it like to have Malaria?

To have Malaria is just like the Flu. Only worse. The symptoms include a high fever, sweating, nausea, vomiting, bloating, chills, aches, and diarrhea. Sometimes, symptoms don't show until a a year after exposure.

Is Malaria treatable? Is it lethal?

Malaria is very treatable but it can also be very dangerous. When one is infected by P. falciparum the parasite causes the blood cells to stick to blood vessel walls. This can lead to lack of blood to the brain which can give way to a coma.

Do I have Malaria? If I do, what should I do?

If you think you have Malaria, go to a doctor to get a blood test done. The doctors will look for a ring in blood cells. The ring is the Plasmodium parasite as a immature trophozoite. If you test positive, the doctor will then give you a prescription medication to kill the parasites. Getting rid of the parasites is the only way to get rid of Malaria.

Should I be worried about getting Malaria?

Only in areas of a high infection rate. North America, Europe, and Australia have gotten rid of Malaria. Africa is the main place to worry about.
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Works Cited


"Biology." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/index.html>.


"Disease." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/disease.html>.


Ferguson, Cat. "The Malaria Doctor In A Box." New Scientist 219.2933 (2013): 20. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.


Fox, Douglas. "Endgame." New Scientist 179.2402 (2003): 34. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.


Iyengar, Rishi. "Malaria Deaths Have Almost Halved Since 2000 Says WHO Report." Time.Com (2014): N.PAG.Middle Search Plus. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.


"Malaria." Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2014): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.


"Malaria." WHO. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <http://www.who.int/topics/malaria/en/>.


"World Malaria Report 2014." WHO. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.

<http://www.who.int/malaria/publications/world_malaria_report_2014/en/>.