Everything You Need to Know About Mosquito-Borne Malaria

Everything You Need to Know About Mosquito-Borne Malaria

Malaria is one of the most well-known mosquito-borne diseases in the world, unfortunately, this is due to the deadliness of the disease. Mosquitoes are named the deadliest creature in the world and affect many lives every single year. Here is everything you need to know about malaria, including causes, symptoms and when to see a doctor.

What Causes Malaria

Mosquitoes can become infected with the Plasmodium parasite, this can develop due to a number of factors but the growth of the parasite is sped up by intense heat and humidity. When an infected mosquito bites a human, they have the potential to transmit the disease through the bloodstream. There are 4 different types of malaria that can affect humans and not every mosquito has the ability to carry the disease.

As malaria is transmitted through the bloodstream, there are other ways that a person could contract it, including;

  • Mother-baby during birth
  • An organ transplant
  • A blood transfusion
  • Use of shared needles and syringes

Symptoms of Malaria

Symptoms will vary depending on the type of malaria a person has, as well as the individual themselves. Symptoms generally develop within 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, however, in some cases symptoms may not develop for several months. This is because some types of malaria parasite can lie dormant within a person for a while before affecting them. Some of the most common symptoms of malaria include;

  • Shaking chills (moderate-severe)
  • High fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anaemia
  • Muscle pain
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Bloody stools


A visit to your doctor will be able to determine if you have malaria or not. Your health history will be reviewed and you will be questioned about any recent travel to tropical climates. As well as this, a physical exam will be carried out, this will be to check things such as an enlarged spleen or liver. If your doctor thinks you’re at risk you may be asked to give a blood test, this will test for things such as;

  • If you have malaria
  • What type of malaria you have
  • If your infection is caused by a parasite that is resistant to certain types of treatment
  • If the disease has caused anaemia
  • If the disease has affected your vital organs

Threat to Life

The death rate for malaria varies depending on the type of malaria and the healthcare that you have access too. If you have access to decent healthcare, then there are treatments out there. Some malaria parasites will not respond to certain drugs so people sometimes have to take a mixture of medication or change medication completely. Some types of parasites can lie dormant in the liver and reactive later in life, this can lead to a relapse and put you at serious risk. Visiting a doctor to determine if you have it in the first place is the best way to help prevent this happening as medication can be given to help ensure that this doesn’t happen. Malaria can lead to severe life-threatening complications, including;

  • Swelling of the blood vessels in the brain (cerebral malaria)
  • Accumulation of fluid in the lungs that cause breathing problems (pulmonary edema)
  • Organ failure: kidneys, liver, spleen
  • Anaemia due to the destruction of red blood cells
  • Low blood sugar