Malaria: Know the Signs and Risks

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your health. Did you know, in recent years, 95% of deaths from malaria occurred in Africa, and most were children? It’s a heartbreaking thought, but by understanding how malaria spreads and recognizing its symptoms, you can protect yourself and your community from this deadly disease.


How is it Spread?

Malaria is a disease caused by a type of parasite. The parasite is spread to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. It is not contagious i.e. spread from person to person. The disease can also spread through blood transfusions and the use of contaminated needles.



The symptoms of malaria usually appear 10-15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Identifying these symptoms quickly is vital:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Cough


It can be hard to tell apart the symptoms of malaria from those of the flu because they are similar. This makes it important to get tested if you think you might have malaria.


Severe Symptoms

Severe malaria is a medical emergency and symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Multiple convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dark or bloody urine
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Abnormal bleeding


The Risks of Malaria

  • In pregnancy, it can lead to premature delivery or a low-birth-weight baby.
  • Kidney failure
  • Anemia
  • Seizures
  • Mental confusion
  • Coma
  • Death


People Most at Risk

  • Babies
  • Children under 5 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Travellers
  • People with HIV or AIDS



Knowing all you can about malaria will help you prevent it or stop it before it gets worse. If you think you have malaria, go see a doctor to get a test as soon as possible. Treating malaria quickly helps stop the disease, saves lives, and prevents it from spreading. Let’s use our knowledge to knockout malaria together.





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