Can Malaria Go Away In Its Own?
No, malaria cannot go away on its own. Once a person is diagnosed with malaria there is no way a person will be cured on its own without taking proper medication. Homeopathic or natural remedies or taking up no medication will never help in any way. Malaria is one the most commonly occurring diseases in more than 100 countries and territories, although the number of cases has decreased significantly, but still the disease prevalence is high. Malaria is an infectious disease, which is caused by Plasmodium which is a unicellular protozoal parasite. Notably the most common causative plasmodium species are Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium falciparum and the quartan malaria Plasmodium malariae. Plasmodium is transmitted into a person through a bite of female anopheles mosquito, the vector of this infectious disease.
So, malaria does not go away on its own. Before adopting any treatment, one should also be apparently clear about the clinical features seen in malaria and the various methods to diagnose the disease.
What are the Clinical Features Seen In Malaria?
The clinical features produced in the disease are a result of the Plasmodium cycle that occurs within the red blood cells and liver. The incubation period varies from species to species, this is important as there no clinical features seen during this time. The Incubation Periods of these species are as follows:
- Falciparum – 9 – 14 days
- Vivax – 8 -17 days
- Quartan Species – 18-40 days
- Ovale – 16-18 days
A typical attack of malaria consists of three stages these are the cold stage, the hot stage and the sweating stage. This is usually followed by an afebrile stage where the patient is relieved from the symptoms produced.
Cold Stage – This is typically the first stage of the disease, in this stage the person suffers from high grade fever i.e. temperature ranges from 39 to 41 degree Celsius. This is known as the cold stage as the person suffers from chilly sensations when the temperature rises and is often followed by rigors. Others symptoms include:
The stage lasts for about 15 minutes to 1 hour.
Hot Stage – The second stage seen in this the patient feels burning hot and due to this, the patient generally casts of clothing. In this stage, the person also has severe headache although symptoms of vomiting and nausea subside. Sometimes the respiration rate also increases. This stage lasts for 2 to 6 hours.
Sweating Stage – The fever subdues with profuse sweating. The temperature drop is massive and rapid. The patient has a feeling of relief in this stage. The duration of this stage is 2 to 4 hours.
There is a typical feature of malarial febrile paroxysms is that it comes and goes at a specific interval according to the Plasmodium species involved. In vivax and ovale it usually recurs every 48 hours and in malaria every 72 hours. While in cases of falciparum, it shows irregularity as it may even be continuous initially then in later stages these patients also 48 hours recurrence of fever is seen.
If the malarial disease is not treated aptly it leads to complications. The complications differ in various species. In cases of falciparum there can be:
- Cerebral Malaria
- Acute Renal Failure
- Liver Damage
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Blackwater Fever
In cases of vivax and ovale the complications are:
- Liver enlargement
- Herpes (as a secondary infection)
- Renal Complications.
What Are The Ways To Diagnose A Case Of Malaria?
Clinically the diagnosis of malaria is based upon revelation of parasite in blood. There are 3 ways to do so:-
Microscopy: In this blood films are made. Two blood films are useful for confirming the diagnosis, the ‘thick’ and the ‘thin’ one. This method is commonly used as it is sensitive, easy and economical.
With The Help of Serological Test: This is done with the help of fluorescent antibody testing. Although a positive test does not always signify an infection, it may also be due to antibodies produced on previous infection.
Rapid Diagnostic Test: The circulating parasites are detected via dipstick method. The only drawback is that they are expensive and temperature sensitive.
There is no possible way that malaria once diagnosed will go away on its own. Full course of treatment has to be taken to avoid the complications associated with the malaria disease. Malaria predominantly presents with fever and chills after a specific interval of time. Other symptoms include headache, sweating, nausea and vomiting. The disease can be easily diagnosed with the help of blood smears or serological or even rapid test kits.
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