25 April, 2022
‘World Malaria Day aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilise additional resources, and empower communities’, (WHO). This awareness day is of the upmost importance to promote as in 2020, nearly half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria. In the same year, Africa was home to 95% of malaria cases and 96% of malaria deaths. Children under 5 accounted for 80% of these deaths, (WHO). Therefore, the need for promotion of malaria aiming to reduce infection and protect population is needed more than ever.
What is malaria?
‘Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease cause by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans’, (CDC). There are four main types of malaria parasites that infect humans, these include:
- Plasmodium falciparum
The fifth malaria parasite is called P. knowlesi, and infects primarily macaques. This type of malaria parasite can also be transmitted to humans from these animals.
How is malaria transmitted?
‘The plasmodium parasite is mainly spread by female anopheles mosquitoes, which mainly bite at dusk and at night,’ (NHS). When the infected mosquito bites an individual, the parasites enter the blood and infects them with the disease. Malaria takes 7-18 days to become noticeable in the infected human. Despite this being the usual transmission time, it can also take up to one year after parasite enters the host’s body to become symptomatic with malaria. Therefore, if you start to feel the below symptoms up to a year after travelling to a high-risk country, it is important to seek medical advice from a health professional as soon as possible.
The symptoms of malaria
The symptoms of malaria normally contain the following:
- General feeling of discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain, including muscle and joint pain
- Rapid breathing and rapid heart rate
Again, if these symptoms arise, even up to a year after travelling, it is important to seek medical advice.
Therefore, regular testing for those who are high risk of coming into contact with malaria is of great importance. Fortress Diagnostics offer both Immunoassay ELISA and Rapid Tests for the detection of malaria. The ELISA Malaria tests are intended for use in the qualitative detection of Malaria specific antigen or antibody in whole blood (antigen kit) serum or plasma by a Microwell Enzyme Immunoassay. While the other is a rapid lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay for the detection of Malaria P.falciparum specific histidine rich protein-2 (Pf HRP-II) in human blood specimen as an aid in the diagnosis of Malaria infection. This test is intended for In-Vitro Diagnostic use only. For more information on the tests offered by Fortress Diagnostics, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to our Sales Team.