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Malaria Symptoms

Severe Malaria Symptoms

Infection with one type of malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, may cause severe symptoms as a result of serious organ failures or problems in the blood or metabolism. If the disease is not treated promptly, severe malaria symptoms may include:
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizures
  • Mental confusion
  • Coma
  • Severe anemia
  • Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Bleeding due to blood clotting problems
  • Death.
Severe malaria occurs most often in people who have no immunity to the disease or whose immunity has decreased. These groups include:
  • All residents of areas with low or no malaria transmission
  • Young children and pregnant women in areas with high transmission.
In all areas, severe malaria is a medical emergency, and should be treated urgently and aggressively.

Other Malaria Symptoms

Other symptoms that may occur in uncomplicated or severe malaria include:
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Anemia
  • Troubles with movements (ataxia)
  • Speech difficulties
  • Deafness
  • Blindness.
For a pregnant woman, malaria symptoms may lead to:
  • Low-birth-weight baby
  • Premature delivery
  • Delayed growth
  • Miscarriage.

Final Thoughts on Malaria Symptoms

These possible malaria symptoms are not sure signs of the disease. A number of other medical conditions may have similar symptoms; however, if you have possible symptoms, you should visit your healthcare provider immediately. Malaria should be considered a potential medical emergency, and should be treated accordingly. Delay in diagnosis and malaria treatment is a leading cause of death in people with the disease in the United States.

Information on Malaria

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