Malaria: Don’t know of any cases in João Pessoa over the last few years
Plasmodium falciparum is the most severe form and causes the majority of the deaths and the most severe symptoms. Problems with resistance against malaria drugs are also almost entirely found in P. falciparum infections. P. falciparum is the most common infection in Africa.
Fever, headache, muscle and joint pains. Later reduced consciousness, kidney failure and coma. The death rate in travellers returning to Europe and diagnosed in Europe is between 0.5% and 4%.
Microscopy of a blood sample (thick and thin blood smear), rapid test finding a malaria specific protein in the blood and in some specialised laboratories detection of parasite DNA.
There are several drugs available. If the patient has taken drugs for prophylaxis the drug chosen for treatment should not be the same as used for prophylaxis. If the infection is severe the treatment is given intravenously.
Prophylaxis with a drug is primarily given to prevent disease from P.falciparum malaria. No prophylactic drug is entirely effective and no malaria drug without side effects. It is therefore important that the drug for prophylaxis is chosen with regard to the risk of being infected with malaria is balanced against the risk of side effects.