Cerebral Malaria | The deadliest of all-The Pregnant women, children below the age of 5 years of age, and non-immune visitors have been noted to be at risk. But two factors have also been identified to be responsible for the increasing spread of cerebral malaria and other complicated malaria infections.
Meanwhile, many unspecific minds believe that malaria is a disease that can be handled with ease. some people in developing countries even believe that the disease cannot kill because they have developed semi-immunity against it. Such people appear to forget that many societies in the past have recorded deaths arising from unknown circumstances, especially from rural areas.
One of the likely causes of such deaths might not be unconnected with a little known type of malaria tagged cerebral malaria. A cerebral malaria is a form of complication of malaria capable of causing death by attacking the brain cells.
The death rate in some hospitals has been estimated to be higher due to a lack of equipment and other logistic problems. Two of every five patients (40 percent), it is estimated, will die.
Moreover, rural dwellers are more unfortunate. The mortality could be close to 90 percent because the victims have no access to immediate medical facilities. Basically, when cerebral malaria strikes, the victims are thrown into com, a condition characterized by diffused generalized encephalopathy or complete dysfunction of the brain.
The localization and increased incidence of disease in the west and east Africa are yet to be adequately explained by scientists. From the available evidence, malaria infection is said to be most severe in West Africa; While the worst form of plasmodium, falciparum has been isolated in East Africa. The tropical climate of these regions of the continent is considered to be a contributory factor.
The increasing growth in the complexity and resistance of plasmodium falciparum to all available malaria drugs. These resistant mutants have an altered genetic makeup, and they survive by preventing drugs from entering the cell. They can also change their metabolic pathways to escape the harsh effects of drugs.
Another factor, that reinforced cerebral malaria tendency is the belief that malaria in all forms is minor problems. To make matters worse, some people even infuse malaria with pain, hence they rely on pain-relieving drugs. This is a synonymous incomplete treatment of malaria.
However, the incomplete treatment of malaria leads to complications. The neglect of malaria treatment is also exemplified by the usual refusal to grant sick leave because of the “minor problem”
Cerebral Malaria occurs when resistant malaria parasites cross the blood-brain barrier. They do this by sticking to the walls of the blood vessels and gradually migrate into the brain. Their sticking to the blood vessels interrupt blood flows in the capillaries and hinders oxygen supply in the brain. The brain capillaries get ruptured as a result, causing bleeding in the tissues of the brain.
First, some people believe that host(man) inflammatory response to the secretion of the parasite constricts the blood vessel. The other school of thought believes that the loss of water and protein of blood in tissue, resulting in the concentration of red blood cells and plasma in the vessel, is responsible for the occurrence.
Complicated malaria could develop in any internal organ, but the notable one is cerebral malaria which occurs in the brain. The symptoms accompanying the disease ranges from loss of conscienceless to fever, convulsion, vomiting, headache, cough, and jaundice.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to recognize and differentiate the disease from normal or mild malaria It is said that what is primarily responsible for the high mortality rate. Besides, medical care is increasingly becoming unaffordable, in which case the patient would have been if before cerebral malaria is suspected.
The treatment and management of the disease are rather complex because, many malaria drugs are proving effective in different regions of the African continent. The treatment of cerebral malaria involves the intravenous infusion of quinine, via the cardiac pump, to monitor the amount of drug released per second. The facilities for this type of treatment does not exist in many hospitals.
However, Quinine has a drawback. The administration of the drug induces a side effect called water fever. This implies hemolysis (break down of red blood cells). Fortunately, the side effect stated walker, is a known devil that can be tackled, instead of leaving the condition untreated, which will ultimately lead to death.
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