What are the Most Common Side Effects of Malaria?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

The most common side effects of malaria are fever, chills, convulsions, retinal problems, vomiting, and joint pain. Fever is usually high and symptoms can be very severe. Malaria can be deadly when not treated early, and Third World nations are most at risk.

Malaria is an illness that stems from infection with a parasite. It is often spread by mosquitoes because the microscopic parasite is secreted with the insect's bite. Most industrialized nations have proper testing and treatments for this illness, although it is most common in tropical areas. There are millions of people affected every year from the side effects of malaria, and the illness can be deadly. Deaths are most common in poor nations where proper medical care is not widely available.

The primary side effects of malaria are very high fever and shaking accompanied by profuse sweating in many cases. All other symptoms are secondary and they may or may not occur in all sufferers. If fever becomes increasingly high, convulsions can be the result. In some countries where medical care is not readily available, diagnosis may be made based on fever alone.


Treatments for the side effects of malaria can vary, but they may include anti-nausea medications combined with drugs which are proven to kill the parasite which causes the illness. These will vary based on which parasite is responsible. There are four potential causes of malaria, so testing is needed to determine the correct course of action. Sometimes the illness will run its course and the body's immune system will fight off the infection.

At other times, the side effects of malaria can lead to severe complications and even death. High fever can eventually affect the brain and organs, causing them to shut down. Anemia is also a common side effect, and if this gets too severe, death can occur. Most deaths from malaria occur in Africa, especially in the poorest regions where proper testing and treatment facilities are not available.

Many different governments and researchers are attempting to prevent malaria outbreaks. Those who live in tropical regions where the parasite is common are given mosquito netting. There is also a vaccine being developed which may someday prevent malaria from occurring.

Patients who believe they may be having side effects of malaria should see a doctor right away. Those who live in temperate climates are unlikely to come across this illness, but those who have visiting other regions may become infected and bring the illness back to their home country. Most malaria cases are generally handled by an infectious disease specialist.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?