Malaria

  • Alternative Names

    Quartan malaria; Falciparum malaria; Biduoterian fever; Blackwater fever; Tertian malaria; Plasmodium


    Treatment

    Malaria, especially Falciparum malaria, is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. Chloroquine is a frequently used anti-malarial medication, but quinidine or quinine plus doxycycline, tetracycline, or clindamycin; or atovaquone plus proguanil (Malarone); or mefloquine or artesunate; or the combination of pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine, are given for chloroquine-resistant infections. The choice of medication depends in part on where you were when you were infected.

    Aggressive supportive medical care, including intravenous (IV) fluids and other medications and breathing (respiratory) support may be needed.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    The outcome is expected to be good in most cases of malaria with treatment, but poor in Falciparum infection with complications.


    Complications
    • Destruction of blood cells (hemolytic anemia)
    • Liver failure and kidney failure
    • Meningitis
    • Respiratory failure from fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
    • Rupture of the spleen leading to massive internal bleeding (hemorrhage)

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you develop fever and headache after visiting the tropics.