Malaria: The causes

Malaria is a disease of infectious cause, parasitic more precisely. The parasite involved in malaria is Plasmodium. There are several different genera: Plasmodium Falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of a female (anopheles) mosquito that carries the parasite into its salivary glands.

As soon as the Plasmodium is passed into the blood of an individual, it is lodged in the cells of the liver to multiply. Then the liver cells burst and release thousands of parasites in the blood.

Then the plasmodium invades the red blood cells and multiplies again. This is when the red blood cell bursts and releases thousands of parasites that will invade other red blood cells. The destruction of these red blood cells causes malaria attacks (outbreaks of the disease).

When a female mosquito bites an infected subject, by pumping blood, it infects itself in turn and can transmit the parasite to another human individual. These mosquitoes are most prevalent at night, from bedtime to sunrise.

Incubation, ie the time between infection with the mosquito and the appearance of the first symptoms, varies with the parasite. It is 7 days to 2 months for Plasmodium Falciparum, and 10 days to 3 years for Plasmodium Vivax and Ovale. The disease may even appear 10 years later for Plasmodium Malariae.

The transmission of malaria can also be made directly from one individual to another: from the mother to her fetus through transplacental transmission, among drug addicts who exchange their syringes, during a blood transfusion, etc. .

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