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Unexpectedly long incubation period of Plasmodium vivax malaria, in the absence of chemoprophylaxis, in patients diagnosed outside the transmission area in Brazil

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  • Malar J
  • v.10; 2011
  • PMC3120730

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Malar J. 2011; 10: 122.

Published online 2011 May 14. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-10-122

,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,1,2,3 and 2,4

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Background

In 2010, Brazil recorded 3343,599 cases of malaria, with 99. 6% of them concentrated in the Amazon region. Plasmodium vivax accounts for 86% of the cases circulating in the country. The extra-Amazonian region, where transmission does not occur, recorded about 566 cases imported from the Amazonian area in Brazil and South America, from Central America, Asia and African countries. Prolonged incubation periods have been described for P. vivax malaria in temperate climates. The diversity in essential biological characteristics is traditionally considered as one possible explanation to the emergence of relapse in malaria and to the differences in the duration of the incubation period, which can also be explained by the use of chemoprophylaxis. Studying the reported cases of P. vivax malaria in Rio de Janeiro, where there is no vector transmission, has made it possible to evaluate the extension of the incubation period and to notice that it may be extended in some cases.

Methods

Descriptive study of every malaria patients who visited the clinic in the last five years. The mean, standard deviation, median, minimum and maximum of all incubation periods were analysed.

Results

From the total of 80 patients seen in the clinic during the study time, with confirmed diagnosis of malaria, 49 (63%) were infected with P. vivax. Between those, seven had an estimated incubation period varying from three to 12 months and were returned travellers from Brazilian Amazonian states (6) and Indonesia (1). None of them had taken malarial chemoprophylaxis.

Conclusions

The authors emphasize that considering malaria as a possible cause of febrile syndrome should be a post-travel routine, independent of the time elapsed after exposure in the transmission area, even in the absence of malaria chemoprophylaxis. They speculate that, since there is no current and detailed information about the biological cycle of human malaria plasmodia’s in Brazil, it is possible that new strains are circulating in endemic regions or a change in cycle of preexisting strains is occurring. Considering that a prolonged incubation period may confer advantages on the survival of the parasite, difficulties in malaria control might arise.

The malaria incubation period is defined as the time elapsed between exposure to the infectious agent (through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito) and the manifestation of the first clinical sign or symptom. Usually, these periods vary depending on the species of Plasmodium causing malaria. The average incubation period is 9-14 days for Plasmodium falciparum, 12-17 days for infections by Plasmodium vivax and 18-40 days for infections caused by Plasmodium malariae [1].

The relapse patterns and variations in the length of the incubation period, including a delay of four months or longer, was first described by Korteweg in Holland between 1901 and 1902 (cited by Swellengrebel and De Buck [2]). Later, in 1935, Nikolaev proposed that there were two strains of P. vivax (cited by Tiburskaya [3]) with different incubation periods and gave the sub-specific taxonomic name of P. vivax hibernans to the variety with the longest incubation period. It was suggested that this sub-species had adapted to more northern latitudes where the anopheles vector was absent for much of the year. Shute (1946) [4] proposed that the sporozoite infective inoculum would be inversely related to the prepatent and incubation period. However, in Moscow, Tiburskaya [3] demonstrated situations in which the length of the incubation period did not depend on the number of inoculated sporozoites, but instead was determined by the inherent properties of the strains. It was also believed that strains with prolonged latency could be attributed either to the “senility” of the sporozoite towards the end of the season or to the low number of sporozoites in the infective bite [5].

According to Shute [5], the differences between the P. vivax strains could be explained by the assumption that, in varying proportions, all strains of P. vivax produce two types of sporozoites: one eliciting short prepatent periods (Type I) and the other lying dormant or developing slowly to give rise to long prepatent periods (Type II). In this model, the latter type would greatly predominate in “temperate strains”, but not in tropical ones. It was thought that relapses of P. vivax could in reality correspond to a delayed parasitaemia arising from Type II sporozoites. In the same year, Garnham stated that the length of the incubation period was considered the major biological difference between Dutch, Madagascar, and USSR strains, and although there was no evidence of specifically dormant forms, it was believed that if certain sporozoites failed to develop in the normal time, they could be reactivated by an unknown factor one year or more after inoculation [6].

In 1980, Warwick [7] proposed that the ambient winter temperatures could extend the incubation period of P. vivax in humans, based on the concept that temperatures persistently above a minimum of 23.9°C were required for sporozoite maturation [8], thereby limiting vector transmission in cold areas. Finally, in 2007, Nishiura et al in Korea [9] suggested that the incubation periods would likely reflect adaptation to the behaviour of the principal vector of the region, which hibernates during the winter season. Currently, several reports associate the extension of the incubation period to malaria prophylaxis among travellers [10,11].

The opportunity to study some cases of P. vivax malaria in Rio de Janeiro, where there is no vector transmission, has made it possible to detect and to evaluate certain peculiar aspects of the natural evolution of the disease in human beings. One main aspect was the extension of time required for the parasites to progress through liver schizogony and produce symptoms by their propagation in the bloodstream.

Plasmodium vivax infections with prolonged periods of incubation and no association with malaria prophylaxis in patients from the Amazon region in Brazil and in one patient from Indonesia are presented.

In addition to demonstrating an interesting clinical situation and the need for clinicians to consider the diagnosis of malaria in a patient presenting symptoms a long time after exposure, even in the absence of chemoprophylaxis, our cases raise questions regarding the understanding of the biology of the host/P. vivax interactions.

Design and study location

This is a descriptive study conducted at the Acute Febrile Disease Outpatient Clinics of IPEC, Fiocruz, a specialized post-travel care clinic located in Rio de Janeiro, from January, 2005, to February, 2010.

Selection of patients

All malaria patients presenting clinical signs or symptoms of malaria and positive thick blood smears were enrolled in the study. The following variables of interest were recorded: estimated incubation period, place and year of infection, date of diagnosis, previous malaria history and year of the first malarial infection. No patients had malaria prophylaxis, had not received blood transfusions nor had close contact with a person with malaria after departure from the endemic area. No patients had haemoglobinopathies. Because it was not possible to determine the date of exposure to the infective mosquito bites, the minimum incubation period was estimated based on literature (9 days for P. falciparum and 12 days for P. vivax) [1]. The maximum was estimated by the interval between the day of the return from the malaria transmission area until the first day of symptoms. The mean, standard deviation, median, minimum and maximum of all incubation periods are shown in Table . Each patient gave fully informed consent. Children were not included.

Table 1

Time between the day of the return from the malaria transmission area and the first day of onset of symptoms of malaria cases diagnosed in the Acute Febrile Diseases Clinic, Rio de Janeiro (2005 until January 2010)

P. vivaxP. falciparumMixed Infection
(P. vivax and P. falciparum)
Mean45 d10 d11 d

Standard Deviation67 d16 d7 d

Median25 d6 d12 d

Maximum360 d60 d18 d

Minimum12 h12 h12 d

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d = days; h = hours

The project was submitted and approved by the Ethical Committee in Research of the Instituto de Pesquisa Clínica Evandro Chagas (IPEC), Fiocruz (number 0020. 0.009.000-07), maintaining strict secrecy and confidentiality of the information obtained.

Detection and quantification of malaria parasites

Thin and thick blood smears were stained with Giemsa and analysed by light microscopy using an immersion oil lens (X100 objective magnification) to identify the parasite species and determine the density of Plasmodium asexual and sexual stages, according to standard procedures [12]. Each smear was evaluated separately by two expert microscopists who had been blinded to the clinical status of the patients.

Data analysis

All information was recorded on a standardised form for study and subsequently entered into a database using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). SPSS-WIN 16.0 was also used for data analysis.

During the study period, 80 malarious patients were diagnosed and treated. Of them, 50 (62.5%) presented with P. vivax malaria, 20 (25%) with P. falciparum malaria, eight (10%) with mixed (P. vivax/P. falciparum) infection and two (2.5%) with P. malariae. All patients were travellers, most of them (51) from the Amazon region, in Brazil; 17 travelled from Africa, 11 were from South and Central America, and one was from Indonesia.

Time between the day of return from the malaria transmission area and the first day of onset of symptoms recorded for all patients diagnosed in the Acute Febrile Diseases Clinic Rio de Janeiro (2005 until January 2010) was four times longer for P.vivax than for Plasmodium falciparum and is illustrated in Table . The estimated mean incubation period for all cases was 31 days (SD 51 days), with a median of 12 days and extreme values of 9 and 360 days.

An estimated incubation period longer than 90 days was observed in seven (14%) of the patients with P. vivax malaria (Figure ). The average incubation period (147 days) among this group was about twelve times longer than the classical period described in the literature (12 days). Malaria was contracted during visits to the Amazonian region (in six cases) and Indonesia (in one). Their details are described in Table . There were no differences in clinical presentation between individuals with P. vivax infection with different incubation periods. No patient had undergone malaria chemoprophylaxis or had taken any pharmacological drug that could inhibit the parasite’s development.

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Estimated incubation period in days for each P. vivax infected patient.

Table 2

Patients with P. vivax infection and estimated incubation period ≥ 90 days

Departure from endemic areaDate of initial symptoms (days after departure)Possible local of infectionPrevious malariaYear of previous infectionRelapse
Patient 106/30/200707/31/2008 (360)IndonesiaYes2007Yes
Patient 212/12/200504/23/2006 (131)Rondonia State, BrazilYes2001Unknown
Patient 312/3/200704/12/2008 (130)Amazonas State, BrazilNoNANo
Patient 402/9/200506/16/2006 (120)Roraima State, BrazilYes2000Unknown
Patient 512/6/200703/24/2008 (108)Amapa State, BrazilYes2007Yes
Patient 607/5/200610/9/2006 (95)Para State, BrazilYes2006Yes
Patient 706/15/200509/15/2005 (90)Para State, BrazilNot AvaiableNot AvaiableUnknown

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NA = non aplicable

This is the second report of prolonged incubation period of malaria in patients without chemoprophylaxis coming from an endemic area in Brazil. A recent paper by one of the authors of this report (Tauil PL) described three cases of vivax malaria originating from the Amazon region and diagnosed in Brasilia, Federal District, six months after departure from the endemic region in 2008 [13]. Two of those patients were infected in the same town (São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Amazonas State, Brazil), as one of the patients in the present study. Some of the cases in this study were detected in 2005 and 2006, prior to the cases detected in Brasilia and reported by Tauil et al [13]. All possible current explanations for these prolonged periods (use of malaria prophylaxis or other pharmacological drugs that would inhibit the Plasmodium development; blood transfusions; close contact with a person with malaria after departure from the endemic area or haemoglobinopathies) were eliminated. The observation of a longer incubation period (≥90 days) in 14% of the P. vivax malaria patients seen at IPEC, in Rio de Janeiro, may indicate the importance of monitoring these characteristics worldwide, as it may represent an evolutionary change in P. vivax behaviour. The average incubation period of P. vivax malaria presented here was approximately twelve times longer than the classical period described in the literature. In this study, the extended incubation time occurred in both prime-infected (130 days) and non-prime-infected (131 days) patients, so the possibility of relapse among non-prime-infected patients cannot be ruled out. However, in two patients previously infected with malaria, the period between the last infection and the current clinical manifestation was five and six years, by far exceeding the maximum period of relapse reported for P. vivax (three years) [14]. Cities such as Rio de Janeiro, as well as areas in the northern hemisphere without disease transmission may be considered strategic places for monitoring incubation period, clinical cures and treatment failure in cases of malaria, facilitating the identification of the above features without misinterpreting variations as the result of new infections.

During the five years of surveillance (2005-2010) no seasonal differences in the prevalence of clinical P. vivax malaria diagnosed outside the endemic area were observed between these cases with prolonged incubation periods. Regardless, the postulate that extended incubation periods may represent an adaptation of the species to overcome cold temperatures, thereby conferring advantages for the survival of the parasite, does not seem to fit the reality of tropical areas, where the temperature is rarely below 10°C. Although the role of strain-specific variation in prolonged incubation periods has been questioned by some authors [9], it is possible that new strains of Plasmodium are circulating in tropical areas, especially in the Amazon, which is a region frequently visited by foreigners and which has seen the movements of troops.

Fever is one of the most common clinical signs in returning travellers [15-20]. The incubation periods of potential pathogens should be considered when formulating differential diagnoses. The geographic location(s) visited, the traveller’s activities and the frequency of specific diseases in the region are usually taken into account. According to the observations reported here, malaria should be considered among the diseases with longer incubation periods (weeks to months after return), even in patients without malaria chemoprophylaxis.

It is classically considered that the co-existence of short and long-term incubation periods may imply that prolongation of this phase is either a genetically regulated feature of parasites or is controlled within Anopheles spp. by mechanisms yet to be defined. Therefore, new molecular tools need to be used for investigation of biological characteristics and origin of the Plasmodium strains that presents a prolonged incubation time in Brazilian patients that have never visited the temperate zone.

Plasmodium vivax, responsible for 86% of malaria cases in Brazil [21], has long been neglected and mistakenly [22]. The change in incubation period reported here is particularly important in theory, because it raises the possibility of changes in the biology and evolution of this organism, entering into strategic debates taking place on malaria epidemiology and control; and in practice because malaria is one of the most important infectious diseases among travellers and a long incubation period is one of the causes of missing early malaria diagnosis.

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

PB – responsible for conception and design of the work, interpretation of data and drafting the manuscript.

APC – analyzed data, made the literature review and helped drafting the manuscript.

RSP – helped analyzing the data and reviewed the text.

CSB – responsible for the production of data and helped reviewing the text.

SS – carried out the parasitological examinations and helped in the literature review.

PLT – helped in interpretation of data, literature review and reviewing the manuscript.

CTDR – helped in the design of the work and reviewed the text up to the final version to be published.

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

This work was supported by CGLAB from the Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde to the Centro de Pesquisa Diagnóstico e Treinamento em Malária (CPD-Mal), Fiocruz, Ministério da Saúde, Brazil.

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A 4-Day Incubation Period of Plasmodium falciparum Infection in a Nonimmune Patient in Ghana: A Case Report

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  • Open Forum Infect Dis
  • PMC6335624

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Open Forum Infect Dis. 2019 Jan; 6(1): ofy169.

Published online 2019 Jan 17. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofy169

,1,2,3,4,4,4 and 5,6

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Plasmodium falciparum can cause severe infection and has the shortest incubation period compared with all the other Plasmodium species. Incubation periods of 9–14 days for the immune and 6–14 days for the nonimmune have been reported for P. falciparum. However, an incubation period of less than 5 days has not been reported, as of yet. This report presents a case of a 23-year-old nonimmune female who presented with signs and symptoms 4 days after being bitten by mosquitoes while visiting Ghana. The patient was successfully treated with a 1-day course of parenteral artesunate, followed by a 3-day course of oral artemisinin combination therapy.

Keywords: artesunate, Ghana, incubation period, Malaria, nonimmune, Plasmodium falciparum, West Africa

Plasmodium falciparum is one of the prominent Plasmodium species, transmitted by malaria-causing vectors, in Ghana [1, 2]. This Plasmodium species is responsible for the majority of the uncomplicated and severe malaria cases that are reported in clinics and hospitals throughout Ghana [3]. Among the 5 species of Plasmodium that cause human infection, P. falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria [4]. Like the other species, P. falciparum is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito; however, it has a relatively shorter incubation period than the others [5]. The incubation period for P. falciparum is 9–14 days, whereas those of P. vivax and P. malariae are 12–17 days and 18–40 days, respectively [5]. Though a shorter incubation period of 6 days for P. falciparum has been reported, especially in the nonimmune [4], an incubation period of less than 5 days has not been reported in literature. Presented here is a case of a 4-day incubation period of P. falciparum infection in a nonimmune patient in Ghana.

A 23-year-old female medical student from the United Kingdom presented to a local hospital 5 days after arriving in Ghana, with a 24-hour history of fever, chills, bodily pains, vomiting, and diarrhea. She reported a recent incident of several mosquito bites while she was sitting outside the first night she arrived in the country. The patient had never visited Africa before this trip. She had been taking 250 mg of mefloquine once a week for malaria prophylaxis but admitted to not being compliant with her medication. The patient admitted to being a cigarette smoker and to smoking about 3 packs per week. Since the onset of her symptoms, she had vomited twice and passed loose, nonbloody stool 4 times. Upon examination, the patient exhibited several insect bite marks bilaterally on the legs and a temperature of 37.8°C; she was not dehydrated, pale, or in respiratory distress. She had a flat abdomen but reported mild epigastric tenderness. Breath sounds were clear bilaterally; in addition, heart sounds were clear, with no rubs, murmurs, or gallops. The patient was conscious and oriented to time, place, and person. Her full blood count investigation revealed a hemoglobin level (Hb) of 12.3 g/dL; white blood cell count (WBC) of 8.2 × 109 µL with differentials (neutrophils 50%, lymphocytes 30%, monocytes 20%, and basophils 0%) and platelets of 158 × 109 uL. A rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was positive for malaria parasites, and malaria parasites were also seen on blood film microscopy, with a parasitemia level of 2+. Urine pregnancy test was negative, and urinalysis showed no signs of infection. The patient was diagnosed with malaria and was immediately started on artesunate injection, 160 mg Q12H. The patient was also placed on 500 mL 5% dextrose normal saline infusion, alternating with 500 mL ringers lactate infusion, for 24 hours. The patient’s fever, vomiting, and diarrhea subsided 24 hours after commencing treatment. The patient was subsequently placed on oral, adult-course artemether lumefantrine (80/480 mg, repeated every 8 hours for the first day, then twice daily for the next 2 days) and paracetamol (acetaminophen) 1 g every 8 hours for 3 days. The patient’s condition improved, and she was discharged 3 days after. The patient was re-examined a week later and found to be recovering well, with resolution of her symptoms. Before leaving Ghana, 6 weeks post–hospital admission, there was no parasite observed in her blood film microscopy, and RDT was negative.

Our patient had not visited Africa or any other malaria-endemic region of the world. Therefore, she had no form of immunity against malaria. She manifested febrile symptoms 4 days after the mosquito bites, which infected her with the malaria parasite, as evidenced by the positive P. falciparum–specific RDT.

The virulence of P. falciparum is seen in the severity of the disease [4, 6]. It has also been reported to have a short incubation period and life cycle [4, 6]. The life cycle begins with the bite from an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The sporozoites’ journey through the liver to the red blood cells which is marked by 2 important periods in the life cycle: the prepatent period (from sporozoite entry to parasite detection in the blood) and the incubation period (sporozoites to the manifestation of symptoms) [4]. The duration of these periods, especially the incubation period, is usually influenced by the level of immunity of the infected patient, antimalarial prophylaxis, and previous malaria treatment [4, 7]. The nonimmune state of our patient would have been responsible for the unusually short incubation period noted in this case [4]. Though she was on mefloquine prophylaxis, which is specific to P. falciparum [8], she was not consistent in taking the course. Though the patient had a short incubation period, her symptoms were not severe, probably because she reported to the hospital as soon as the symptoms began. She presented with the typical malarial symptoms of fever, chills, vomiting, and diarrhea [9]. The physical findings were also not remarkable, which is not uncommon, even in nonimmune patients [4]. The laboratory results also reflect the unremarkable nature of this infection, as all blood cells (leukocytes, red cells, and platelets) were within normal reference range. Usually, more severe infections, especially in the nonimmune, present with thrombocytopenia, anemia, and neutrophilia with band formation [10]. RDT was used as a diagnostic tool to diagnose malaria in this patient, and the positive RDT was confirmed with microscopy, which is indeed the best practice in laboratory diagnosis of malaria [11–13]. Though the patient did not present with severe malaria and, as per the World Health Organization guidelines, being nonimmune is not a criterion for treatment with intravenous artesunate [14], the decision to start the patient on parenteral antimalarial was because of the vomiting, as she might not have been able to tolerate oral medication. Artesunate was the parenteral antimalarial drug of choice for this patient. It is a very efficacious drug, whose rapid parasite clearance, lack of or minimal clinical side effects, and an easy administration made it a better option than quinine [15, 16].

P. falciparum malaria typically manifests within 2 months of exposure to mosquito bites and generally presents clinically in travelers after their return from an endemic region [17]. Unlike the typical incubation period, this case highlights the successful management of P. falciparum infection occurring in a nonimmune patient 4 days after being bitten by mosquitoes. The patient was successfully treated with a 1-day course of parenteral artesunate, followed by a 3-day course of oral antimalarial artemisinin combination therapy.

Potential conflicts of interest. All authors: no reported conflicts of interest. All authors have submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Conflicts that the editors consider relevant to the content of the manuscript have been disclosed.

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25 April is World Malaria Day

April 25, 2023

Every year April 25 is World Malaria Day

Malaria is an anthroponotic transmissible protozoal disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Most often, malaria is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person through the blood-sucking of female mosquitoes. There are two more ways of infection – through blood transfusion and intrauterine, when a woman with malaria infects her unborn child. Parasites that enter the human body circulate in the blood, and then are carried to the liver, in the cells of which they develop.

4 types of pathogen parasitize in humans: P. vivax, P.ovale, P.malariae and P.falciparum. The latter causes the most severe and frequently encountered form – tropical. The incubation period for tropical malaria is usually 8 to 16 days. In other forms, the incubation period is different and can be 2 years or more.

The disease is characterized by damage to erythrocytes, recurrent cyclic course, anemia and periodic febrile attacks (body temperature rises to 40 degrees and above, accompanied by chills and severe sweating at the end of the attack), alternating with fever-free periods, the pattern of occurrence of which corresponds to the development cycle of the pathogen. Therefore, if there is a clear recurrence of fever attacks after a certain time, one should think about a possible disease with malaria.

Tropical malaria can take a “malignant course” if diagnosed late and treated more than 6 days after onset. Mortality in the malignant course of tropical malaria can reach 100% and largely depends on the time of initiation of treatment, the correct selection of antimalarial drugs and the equipment of the clinic. Children, pregnant women, and non-immune adults are more likely to develop severe tropical malaria.

In order to prevent malaria, it is necessary to start taking antimalarial drugs a week before leaving for malaria-endemic countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America. It is necessary to continue taking the drugs for the entire period of stay and for another 4-6 weeks after returning. It is also necessary to remember about protecting the premises from the penetration of mosquitoes (nets on windows and doors) and protecting the body from mosquito bites with the help of special repellents.

Over the past 10 years in the Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital. S.P. Botkin, 139 patients with malaria were hospitalized, two cases were fatal in 2016 and 2019. In 2020, 8 patients were treated for malaria in the hospital, in 2021 – 12, in 2022 – 13. This year, 2 cases of malaria have already been recorded.

Be aware of symptoms after returning from a malaria-prone region. If you suddenly develop a fever, headache, or muscle pain, seek immediate medical attention. Do not forget that in rare cases, the incubation period for the development of malaria is 3 years!

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Center for Medical Prevention

Memo for the population.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MALARIA!

MALARIA is a severe parasitic disease widespread in countries with a tropical and subtropical climate (Asia Minor and Southeast, Africa, South America) and in neighboring countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia ). Malaria is characterized by attacks of fever (fever), anemia, enlargement of the liver and spleen .

Infection occurs when bitten by malarial mosquitoes. There are 4 types of malaria: tropical, three-day, four-day and oval malaria. The most severe is the tropical form, common in African countries.

According to the World Health Organization, currently 82 countries of the world are highly endemic for malaria and are in the process of combating it, and only 16 countries have achieved the elimination of malaria in their territories through anti-epidemic (preventive) measures, and 27 countries have received the status of ” free from malaria”, confirmed by the WHO certificate. Russia is represented in the group of countries directing efforts to prevent local transmission of malaria.

Malaria is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person through the bites of female mosquitoes. In addition, there are two more ways of infection – through blood transfusion and intrauterine, when a woman with malaria infects her unborn child. Entered into the human body during the bite of malarial mosquitoes, the parasites circulate in the blood, and then are carried to the liver, in the cells of which they begin their development.

The incubation period (the period from the moment of infection to the onset of the first clinical symptoms) ranges from 7 days to 1 month (with a tropical form of malaria, the incubation period can last up to 3 years).

Signs of the disease – the disease begins acutely: weakness, severe headache, chills appear. Then recurring attacks of fever begin, in which the body temperature rises to 40 ° and above, and lasts for several hours. The fever is accompanied by severe chills; at the end of the attack marked sweating. Attacks are repeated regularly – after a certain time (every other day, two or three days later). When such attacks occur, you should immediately seek medical help.

Tropical malaria the most severe form of malaria. The incubation period most often ranges from 8 to 16 days. Headache, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite may occur 3-4 days before the development of the first clinical signs. The initial stages of the disease are characterized by severe chills, a feeling of heat, severe headache. In the absence of timely treatment, a fatal outcome occurs. Recovery depends on the correct selection of antimalarial drugs and the equipment of the clinic.

Malaria parasites are found in the blood of a sick person and can only be detected by examining the blood under a microscope. Treatment of this dangerous disease is carried out taking into account the type of pathogen and its sensitivity to chemotherapy drugs.

Prevention of malaria.

All travelers to tropical countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and South America are recommended to carry out specific prophylaxis of malaria by taking antimalarial chemicals. More detailed advice on dosages and regimens for taking antimalarial drugs can be obtained from the offices of infectious diseases in polyclinics at the place of residence.

It must be remembered that during a stay in a malaria-affected country and within 3 years after returning home, in case of any increase in temperature, you should immediately contact a medical institution, informing the doctor about the fact of staying in tropical countries endemic for malaria .

In addition to taking antimalarial drugs, it is necessary to remember about personal non-specific prevention of malaria: the use of repellents (mosquito repellents), in the absence of air conditioning in places of accommodation, windows and doors should be blocked, electric fumigators should be used to kill mosquitoes.
People living in malaria-endemic areas should observe the following recommendations during their stay in the outbreak:

  • dress in tight, as close as possible, light-colored clothing when leaving the house after sunset;
  • apply repellents to exposed areas of the body;
  • sleep in rooms that exclude the penetration of blood-sucking insects;
  • before going to bed, spray the room with an insecticidal spray or use fumigators;
  • in the presence of a large number of mosquitoes and the impossibility of screening the windows, organize sleep under a canopy made of gauze and treated with insecticide.