Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Malaria

Font Size

Exams and Tests

Doctors use thick and thin blood smears to find out whether malaria-causing parasites are in your blood. These tests should be done if you have been in a region where malaria is present, you were exposed to mosquitoes, and you have flu-like symptoms.

  • A blood smear is prepared from a blood sample.
  • If the first blood smear does not show the presence of malaria parasites but your doctor suspects malaria, you should have a repeat test every 8 to 12 hours for 36 hours.
  • During treatment, doctors use blood smears to see whether the number of malaria parasites in the blood is decreasing.

A blood test that can diagnose malaria rapidly also is available. If this rapid test indicates a person has malaria, the results are usually confirmed with a blood smear.

Other tests

Other useful tests that may be done include:

Other tests being developed to diagnose malaria include genetic tests or other blood tests that highlight parasites by using special stains. These experimental tests are not as easy to do and are not as frequently used as blood smears.

In the United States, malaria is an infectious disease that must be reported to the local or state health department.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 11, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.