How is malaria treated?


Quick Answer

Treatment for malaria includes the use of anti-malarial drugs and other medications that reduce the symptoms of the disease, according to Drugs.com. Doctors choose treatment options depending on the severity of the malaria and the likelihood that it is resistant to chloroquine. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal, but the prognosis for recovery in the United States with treatment is excellent.

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Full Answer

Chloroquine is the most common anti-malarial drug for countries lacking drug-resistant strains of malaria, reports Drugs.com. Doctors prescribe it as a preventative measure for patients traveling to countries where malaria is a problem, but also use it in treatment. For countries where strains of malaria are resistant to the drug, such as sub-Saharan South Africa, they use other anti-malarial drugs; however, these medications tend to cause more side effects.

Medical care providers diagnose malaria by examining the blood of the patient on a slide under a microscope, indicates Drugs.com. Laboratory personnel smear the blood on a slide, treat it with special chemicals and look for plasmodium parasites. They also do tests that determine if the disease is affecting the blood clotting and levels of white and red blood cells. They test the liver and kidney function along with the blood chemistry.

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