If untreated or treated improperly, malaria can last the lifetime of the infected individual. Malaria is curable if treated properly, states the CDC, but treatment time varies depending on health factors of the infected, where the person was infected, and the amount of time that the person has been infected.
Two types of malaria parasites can cause a relapse years after initial treatment. The parasites that cause malaria can be dormant for up to a year after being infected, so anyone who is in, or has recently visited, an area with malaria should seek treatment right away if symptoms occur. Initial symptoms include fever, perspiration, chills, nausea, vomiting, headaches and body aches.