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What are the symptoms of malaria?

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Malaria symptoms usually start about 10-15 days after the infected mosquito bite. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Because the signs are so similar to cold or flu symptoms, it might be hard to tell what you have at first. And malaria symptoms don’t always show up within 2 weeks.

A blood test can confirm whether you have malaria. Along with high fever, shaking, chills and sweating, symptoms can include:

Malaria can cause you to go into a coma.

Children with severe malaria may get anemia. They may also have trouble breathing. In rare cases they can get cerebral malaria, which causes brain damage from swelling.

  • Throwing up or feeling like you're going to
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Being very tired (fatigue)
  • Body aches
  • Yellow skin (jaundice) from losing red blood cells
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizure
  • Confusion

SOURCES:

CDC: “Malaria: Frequently Asked Questions,” “About Malaria.” “Where Malaria Occurs.” “Malaria Information and Prophylaxis, by Country.”

Medline Plus: “Malaria.”

World Health Organization: “Malaria.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Malaria.”

Medecins Sans Frontieres: “Malaria.”

Mayo Clinic: “Malaria.”

National Health Services: “Malaria.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on June 25, 2020

SOURCES:

CDC: “Malaria: Frequently Asked Questions,” “About Malaria.” “Where Malaria Occurs.” “Malaria Information and Prophylaxis, by Country.”

Medline Plus: “Malaria.”

World Health Organization: “Malaria.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Malaria.”

Medecins Sans Frontieres: “Malaria.”

Mayo Clinic: “Malaria.”

National Health Services: “Malaria.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on June 25, 2020

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When should you call a doctor about malaria?

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