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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Malaria
      Category : Health Centers > Infections (Infectious Diseases)


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Malaria is an infection marked by fever and shaking chills. Four different species of the Plasmodium parasite cause malaria.

What is going on in the body?

Malaria occurs mainly in the tropical areas of the world, including Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Humans acquire malaria through the bite of a mosquito. There are 4 species of Plasmodium that cause infection.

When an infected mosquito bites a person, the parasite travels through the bloodstream to the liver. The parasite multiplies in the liver. Then it goes back into the bloodstream and attacks the red blood cells. As the red blood cells are destroyed, symptoms begin in the body.

What are the causes and risks of the infection?

The Plasmodium parasite causes infection. The bite of the anopheles mosquito transmits the parasite from person to person. When a mosquito bites a person who has malaria, the parasite multiplies in the mosquito. If the mosquito then bites another person, it can inject the parasite into another person. The infection can also be spread from an infected pregnant woman to the fetus across the placenta.


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Malaria: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Danielle Zerr, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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