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How is malaria treated?

If you intend to travel to an area with endemic yellow fever, you should visit a travel clinic and get a prescription for malaria-preventive medicine before you go.

Malaria is a treatable disease spread by mosquitoes in warmer climates (especially Africa), and the specific treatment approach depends on factors such as the type of malaria parasite causing the infection, the severity of symptoms, and the individual's age, medical history, and pregnancy status. The treatment for malaria typically involves the use of antimalarial medications. The choice of medication and treatment regimen is determined by healthcare professionals based on various factors, including drug resistance patterns in the region.

Commonly used antimalarial medications include:

  1. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs): These are the most effective and widely used medications for treating uncomplicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. ACTs combine an artemisinin derivative with a partner drug to ensure both rapid parasite clearance and prevention of resistance.

  2. Chloroquine: This medication was previously widely used for treating malaria caused by chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium species. However, due to widespread resistance, its use is now limited to areas where the malaria parasites are still susceptible.

  3. Quinine and quinidine: These medications are used for the treatment of severe malaria, particularly in areas where other options may be limited or unavailable.

  4. Primaquine: This medication is used to treat malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale, as it can eliminate the dormant liver stage of these parasites (hypnozoites) and prevent relapses.

It is important to remember that antimalarial medications should be prescribed by healthcare professionals, as self-medication or improper use of drugs can contribute to drug resistance and have adverse effects. In addition to medication, supportive care may be provided to manage symptoms, such as fever and dehydration.

If you suspect you have malaria, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


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