How does malaria affect the body?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
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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