Common Malaria (Plasmodium Vivax)
SYMPTOMS: A typical case presents with shivering and
high fever, followed by sweating and fall in temperature. The
fever comes on alternate days, and the child looks well in
between. A history of a child living in an area where malaria is
common or the child having returned from such an area aids the diagnosis. A blood test confirms the diagnosis. The
patient may become anaemic and weak.
In another case, the fever may occur every day.
Shivering or rigours may not be present. If no obvious cause of
fever is to be found and your doctor finds your child has an
enlarged spleen, he may like to rule out malaria.
DIAGNOSIS: It is important that the blood sample for malaria be taken before treatment is
started. This test
is not only important for the confirmation of the diagnosis,
but also helps to ascertain the type of malaria, the precise
treatment to be given immediately and to be followed later.
SYMPTOMS: Besides shivering and fever, a child with this type of malaria can become quite
sick. He may start
losing alertness, get convulsions and may become unconscious.
TREATMENT: Treat this condition as an emergency. Many lives are saved by appropriate
treatment. Tell your doctor if your child has G-6-PD deficiency
Anaemia); children with this deficiency may react badly to some of the anti-malarial drugs.
PREVENTION: Cooperate with the public health authorities in the prevention of the spread of
disease. The malaria mosquito can thrive on clean water, so make sure the water
storage sources in your building or house
are well cared for. In areas where malaria is common, care
should be taken to prevent mosquito bites. Have automatic door closers and
window netting installed if this is
possible. In the near future, we may have mosquito nets that are
impregnated with a medicine to repel mosquitoes.
Your doctor may put you on some drug(s) to be taken regularly once a week if you live in a
area or you are going to visit such an area. However, some older children and
adults may develop partial or complete
immunity against the disease after living in a locality with
malaria for a number of years, and do not need this continuous
prophylactic (preventive) treatment. If, however, you live in an area
where malaria is unknown, start giving your child the
prophylactic medicines 2 weeks before you start your journey to a
malaria area. The drug is to be given throughout the stay in
that area and to be continued for 2 months after returning home.
Do not take these drugs without proper advice; indiscriminate use may result in the
development of resistance to certain anti-malarial drugs.
11 February, 2013