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Why is malaria harmful?

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Malaria can cause high fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms that can be life-threatening when not treated quickly.

Once malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites enter your body through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, they travel to your liver, where they multiply. They invade your red blood cells, which are important cells in your blood that carry oxygen. The parasites get inside them, lay their eggs, and multiply until the red blood cell bursts.

This releases more parasites into your bloodstream. As they attack more of your healthy red blood cells, this infection can make you feel very sick.

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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What are the symptoms of malaria?

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