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How does malaria affect the body?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

After being bitten by a mosquito carrying malaria, a person will not notice symptoms for one week to one month. During this time, malaria parasites multiply in a person's liver before invading red blood cells in the bloodstream. Once inside a person's red blood cells, the parasites continue to multiply and spread the infection. Infected red blood cells eventually rupture, causing a person to experience flu-like symptoms that include sweating, high fevers and chills, and nausea. As the disease progresses, a person's spleen and liver enlarge. Malaria may cause anemia or jaundice. In some severe cases, it attacks the brain and create neurological problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.