As malaria is present in the red blood cells of an infected human, it is possible to receive malaria infection through the sharing of needles, blood donation or transfer, organ donation, or from mother to child in late term pregnancies and during birth. It cannot be transmitted through casual contact with an infected human being, and cannot be sexually transmitted.  
How can we prevent being infected with Malaria?
Contrary to urban myth, there is no way to visually detect whether a mosquito is a carrier of the malaria parasite. In order to combat malaria, Prevention is Key:
Anti-Malarial Drugs
Short term prevention (often utilised by foreign visitors to Africa and Asia) include anti-malarial drugs such as paludrine and chloroquine. These are usually avoided for usage beyond 1 year due to reduced efficacy over time, and negative side-effects including nausea and blurred vision.
Mosquito Nets
The most widely used preventative measure for contracting malaria are mosquito nets, as they prevent all contact with mosquitoes. Mosquito nets can be treated in a way which repels mosquitoes, making them the most effective prevention for malaria. 
Avoid getting bitten during the day
Mosquitoes are less active during the day time, however one bite is all it takes for infection. Using insect repellents containing DEET and wearing long sleeved clothing reduces the chances of being bitten. More...

 

(Image courtesy of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals:
http://pharma.bayer.com/en/corporate-responsibility/neglected-diseases/malaria/index.php)

What are the symptoms of malaria?
The initial symptoms of malaria include…
Flu-like illness, Fever, Headaches, Chills, Shaking, Fatigue, Muscle pains, Nausea.
The condition of an infected individual rapidly degenerates, leading to disruption of blood supply to vital organs and reduced red blood cell count. Severe symptoms include…
Anaemia, Jaundice (recognisable by yellowing of the eyes and skin), mental confusion, Kidney failure, Seizures, Coma.
If left unchecked, these symptoms end in fatality. Those most at risk include individuals with weaker immune systems, such as infants and children, the elderly, and people affected by HIV.

How is malaria treated?
For most effective treatment, it is vital that the disease is discovered as early as possible after symptoms appear. This is done by clinical blood testing to detect the presence of the parasite under a microscope. 
Malaria treatments are usually comprised of artemisinin-based combination therapies, taken orally or intravenously depending on the progression of the disease.
How is it transmitted?
Malaria is transmitted exclusively by the infected female Anopheles mosquito, as only females bite humans for blood. Mosquitoes become infected by having previously fed on the blood of an infected human.
Mosquitoes inject a small amount of saliva into the organism it feeds on, as the saliva contains an agent which locally thins the blood. This makes it easier for the mosquito to extract the blood from the organism. Mosquitoes infected with plasmodium contain the parasite in the saliva, which is transmitted to the human in the process of biting them.

Malaria News

An infected mosquito acts as the carrier for the parasite plasmodium, which enters the blood stream of humans when bitten. Humans are susceptible to 4 types of malaria; Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.
The parasite is transported to the liver, where it multiplies and infects red blood cells. This inhibits the body’s ability to properly supply blood to the vital organs. Symptoms first appear after the parasite multiplies to a certain extent, often 10-30 days after being bitten by the carrier mosquito. However, this period varies as some cases have reported symptoms as early as 7 days, or as late as 1 year after exposure. The asymptomatic period is also highly dependent on the type of malaria with which the individual is infected.
According to the World Health Organisation, 2013 alone saw 198 million clinical cases of malaria reported worldwide, with 500,000 resulting deaths. The vast majority of malaria related fatalities were those of African elderly people, children and infants.

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