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How to know if you have malaria

Before you travel abroad you can obtain prescription medicines for preventing malaria. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes, mainly in warmer climates close to the equator--especially Africa.

If you suspect you may have malaria, it's important to seek medical attention promptly for a proper diagnosis. The symptoms of malaria can vary depending on the type of Plasmodium parasite causing the infection, as well as individual factors such as immunity and previous exposure. Common symptoms of malaria include:

  1. Fever (often periodic, with recurrent episodes)

  2. Chills and sweating

  3. Headaches

  4. Muscle and joint pain

  5. Fatigue and weakness

  6. Nausea and vomiting

  7. Diarrhea

  8. Abdominal pain

  9. Anemia (pale skin and fatigue)

  10. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) in severe cases

It's important to note that these symptoms can be similar to those of other illnesses, so a proper diagnosis is crucial. A healthcare professional will typically perform a physical examination, inquire about your medical history, and conduct diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of malaria parasites in your blood.

These tests may include microscopy to examine blood smears, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) based on detecting parasite antigens, or molecular methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

If you are in an area where malaria is prevalent and experience symptoms such as fever, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly, as early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing malaria effectively.

If you are traveling to an area where you may be at risk for contracting malaria, you should visit a travel clinic before you go. Away Clinic has several arizona locations, including a new office in Scottsdale for your convenience.


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