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Malaria - Research Paper Example

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Malaria [Name of Student] [Name of Institution] Introduction Malaria is a parasitic disease, common in the tropic and the subtropics and is characterized by shaking chills, high fever, flu-like symptoms, and anemia. The malarial parasite is transmitted via the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito…
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Download file to see previous pages For the female Anopheles mosquito to live and reproduce it must first consume blood meals, which provides the link between human beings and the mosquito genus’s life cycle. There are several vital factors that support the development of the malaria parasite in the mosquito from the "gametocyte" to the "sporozoite stage” stage. Mosquito’s Life Cycle These factors are humidity and temperature, which are directly proportional to the parasites’ rate of growth into adult mosquito. The female anopheles mosquito undergoes the four life cycle stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult with the first three stages lasting between 5 and 15 days, varying from one mosquito species to another. It is in its adult stage, which lasts between 1 week and 1 month that the female anopheles mosquito acts a malarial vector (Fairhurst & Wellems, 2009). It lays between 50 and 200 eggs on water surfaces, which hatch after 2-3 days into the larvae stage in which the head, spiracles-for breathing, larvae thorax, segmented abdomen, and mouth brushes for feeding are developed. At the pupae stage, which could last between 5 and 14 days, the head and the thorax merge to form the cephalothorax as the abdomen curves around underside. The adult stage is characterized by slender bodies composed of head, thorax and abdomen. Epidemiology According to the World Health Organization (WHO), of the 216 million reported cases of malaria in 2010, 655,000 deaths were reported, implying 2000 deaths due to malaria every day. Reportedly, most of the reported cases affected children of five years and below in age (Shah, 2010). The other vulnerable group is pregnant women with about 125 million pregnant women reported to be at risk of infection each year. Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected by malaria in general and maternal malaria in particular, the latter resulting in an estimated 200,000 infant deaths every year (Shah, 2010). Although no efforts have been spared in eradicating and treating malaria in the last two decades, little has been achieved in reducing its risks and effects. This situation is made worse by the fact that malaria cases in the remotest parts of the world are not reported or treated as would have been expected. In accessibility and unavailability of health care facilities and information are specifically to blame for the negative effects of malaria and the lack of documentation of many cases of malaria from all over the world (Shah, 2010). Signs, Symptoms, Tests, and Diagnosis of Malaria The well known signs and symptoms of malaria are as caused by the release of merozoites into the bloodstream and the anemia, which results from the destruction of the red blood cells. Besides the female anopheles mosquito, mother-to-baby transmission and blood transfusion are the other mechanisms by which malaria could be transmitted (Fairhurst & Wellems, 2009). As mentioned earlier some of the signs and symptoms of malaria are anemia, bloody stools, convulsion, muscle pain, nausea, chills, coma, sweating, fever, headache, jaundice, and vomiting. The diagnosis of malaria is a rather crucial step in its treatment hence should be highly regarded by patients and physicians. In medical examinations, enlarged liver and spleen could indicate the presence of malaria. However, confirmation using malaria blood smear at 6-12 hour intervals is highly recommended. To confirm the presence of m ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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