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Malaria Essay, Research Paper


Malaria is a disease that can be cured. It is also fatal if not quickly detected and treated. Luck also helps too. A person who gets malaria contracts it from a bite from female Anopheles mosquitoes. (Anopheles any of various mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles, which can carry the malaria parasite and transmit the disease to human beings) The mosquitoes themselves get the parasites from other humans who have the parasites in their bloodstream. The parasites are 1 celled and are usually called Plasmodium parasites. (Plasmodium – A protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, which includes the parasites that cause malaria)

There are four major types of malarial parasites; Plasmodium Vivax, Plasmodium Ovale, Plasmodium Malariae, and Plasmodium Falciparum. The fist three are not as fatal in comparison to Plasmodium Falciparum. With the first three a fever will rupture red bloods cells and moves the parasites into the bloodstream. With P. Falciparum there will be uncontrolable shivering then fever up to 41oC. P.Vivax, P. ovale, P. Malariae attack only young or old red blood cells but Falciparum will attack red blood cells of any age. Falciparum malaria might lead to anemia. (Anemia – A pathological deficiency in the oxygen-carrying component of the blood, measured in unit volume concentrations of hemoglobin, red blood cell volume, or red blood cell number.) Malaria in later stages might lead to blocked blood vessels to major organs ie. spleen, kidney, liver because dead blood cells.

Over five million people get malaria a year and over one million children and infants in Africa die from malaria. Some countries that have medium to high risks of people contracting malaria are Africa, Burma, Kampuchea, Vietnam etc. One in one hundred forty people in Papua New Guinea get malaria. One in two hundred ten people get malaria in Nigeria.

It is very hard to control the number of people that get malaria, its not that people didn t try in the past. The old way to control malaria was to spray people and crops with DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, C14H9Cl5) but this was a bad idea because DDT is carcinogenic. One of the first remedies for malaria was the bark of cinchona trees. The main ingredient in the bark is quinine (C20H34N2O2+3H3O) the problem was that this the parasites grew a immunity to this remedy. The answer make better synthetic remedies, the most popular are; Chloroquine, Melfloquine, Proquanil, Fansidar, Doxycyxline. Below is a suggested dosage.

Approximate fractions of adult doses of antimalarial drugs tor children

Chloroquine Mefloquine

Age (year) Weight(kg) Fraction Age (year) Weight(kg) Fraction

< l < l0 1/8-1/4 < 2 < l5 NR

1-4 . I0-19 1/4 2-4 . I5-19 1/4

5-8 20-30 + 5-8 20-30 1/2

9-15 31-45 + 9-15 31-45 3/4

>15 >45 Adult >15 >45 Adult

Chloraquine:- Prophylactic dose 5 mg/kg base/week, up to maximum adult dose of 300 mg base/week.

Mefloquine:- Prophylactic dose 5 mg/kg /week, up to a maximum of250 mg. (Adult: 250 mg weekly) :-

Therapeutic dose 15 mg/kg. (Adult: total dose 1000 mg weekly)

Proguanil Fansidar

Age (year) Weight(kg) Fraction NHMRC dosage Age (year) Weight(kg) Fraction

< l < l0 1/8-1/4 < l 25mg/day 2-12mth < l0 1/6

1-4 . I0-19. 1/4 1-4 50mg/day . 1-4 . I0-19 1/3

5-8 20-30. 3/8 5-8 75mg/day 5-8 20-30 1/2

9-12 31-40 1/2 9-12 100mg/day 9-15 31-45 2/3

>12 >40 Adult >12 150mg/day >15 >45 Adult

Proguanil:- Prophylactic dose 3 mg/kg daily.(Adult. 200 mg daily)

Fansidar:- Therapeutic dose: total adult dose 3 tablets .


Age (year) Weight(kg) Fraction

< l-7 < 30. Contraindicated

8-12 31-40 1/2 50mg

>12 >40 Adult 100mg

Prophylactic dose 1.5 mg/kg /day (adult dose: 100 mg daily)

With all the drugs there are side effects.

Chloroquine- upset stomach and blurred vision

Doxycycline- upset stomach and bowel and sensitivity to sunlight

Mefloquine- nausea, vomiting, heartburn vivid dreams, mental clouding, co-ordination problems, insomnia, anxiety and more

Proguanil- mouth ulcers

Fansidar- no info

There is no way to have immunity to malaria but there are preventative measures one can take to reduce the chances of contracting the disease.

Most of the mosquitoes that carry the parasite come out at night so don t play at night. Cover body parts if possible and use bug repellent with DEET if possible.

Definitions in bracket are from Microsoft Bookshelf

Charts are from North East Valley Division of General Practice web site

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