We see a mosquito and first thing which crosses our mind is ‘Malaria’. There is a good reason for that. It is estimated that more than 4.38 lakh people die every year due to Malaria and affects about 21 Crore people worldwide. This despite the fact that malaria can be prevented, detected and cured. Every year, monsoons in India bring millions of cases of malaria.
If a person has some or all of these symptoms, see a doctor and get the blood tested for malaria –
- High Fever
- Sudden bouts of high fever and chills
- Fever may not be every day. It can be intermittent – every alternate day
- Nausea and vomiting also occur
However, some of these symptoms are also present in other diseases such as common cold, pneumonia, infected ear, wounds, etc. It is therefore important to get blood tests done for malaria to be sure.
Blood Test for Malaria:
Major blood test for Malaria –
- Test for Malaria: Slide Test – A blood sample is taken from patient’s finger and put on a glass slide. The glass slide is then examined by a trained technician for the presence of Plasmodium organisms.
- Test for Malaria: Rapid Diagnosis Test (RDT) – RDT’s are quite common and easily available kits for testing a patient’s blood for malaria. The kit consists of test strips and a special solution. A sample of patient’s blood is put on the strip followed by few drops of the solution. Two red lines indicate a positive test for falciparum malaria.
Advanced blood test for Malaria:
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR):
PCR is a laboratory method which amplifies the parasite’s DNA and allows easy detection and identification of the Plasmodium organisms. In case the laboratories lack of training and experience in the microscopic examination for malaria, this test can be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Other Test for Malaria
Serology (Antibody tests): Human body produces antibodies in the blood in response to a malaria infection. Serology tests detect these antibodies in the blood. It cannot diagnose an acute infection but helps determine if a person had previously been exposed to malaria.
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