Have form that causes a milder version,

Have you ever heard of Plasmodium ovale? Have you ever heard of malaria? In this lesson you will learn about how malaria and Plasmodium ovale are related to one another.

The Tropics

You are a U.S. soldier on an island in the Pacific Ocean on a special mission. On day 25 of your mission, you start to feel ill.

You are nauseous and have a fever. The medic comes in to run some test. She comes back with the results a few hours later. Malaria, she says. She informs you that the strain that you have is one of the mildest forms and that you will be fine.You have so many questions.

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How did you contract malaria? Will you survive? Can you pass this on to anyone else? The medic starts to hook you up to an IV. While she does, she answers some of the questions you have.

Plasmodium Ovale

You learn that your illness is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium ovale.

A parasite is an organism that lives on or inside of another organism (the host), and has negative effects on that host organism. Plasmodium ovale is living inside of you causing damage to your body, and it will cause further damage if you are not treated properly by a medical expert. The medic tells you that Plasmodium ovale is one of over 100 species in Plasmodium (a genus of parasite) that all cause various forms of malaria. You were fortunate enough to contract a form that causes a milder version, meaning that it rarely causes death. This strain of malaria is most often found in sub-Saharan Africa, islands in the west Pacific Ocean and on the Asia mainland.

Operation Transmission

Female Anopheles Mosquito
malaria

The female Anopheles mosquito acts a vector, or transmission agent, in the transmission of Plasmodium ovale.

When the female drinks the blood of the host, she passes the Plasmodium ovale into the body of the host. The mosquito also picks up new parasites from other humans and livestock already carrying them, and spreads them to a new host. It can take seven to ten days before the host starts to experience any symptoms from the transmission of the Plasmodium ovale into its body.

Symptoms

Symptoms of infection may be any combination of fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear between ten and fifteen days after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the parasite. If not treated promptly, irreparable damage to vital organs can be the result.

Treatment

The best treatment for any type of malaria is prevention.

It is advisable that all travelers be aware of their chances of infection when they travel. Anti-malaria pills, insect repellent, bed nets, and long pants and sleeves are all effective methods to prevent becoming infected with malaria. It is advised that travelers use as many of these methods as possible when venturing into an area where malaria infection is more prevalent.Treatment is possible if an individual becomes infected with malaria, but the type of malaria and how long the person has been infected will dictate their treatment plan. Malaria is treated using multiple oral and / or intravenous medications. Plasmodium ovale has a tendency to lay dormant in a patient’s liver for a range of possible time periods, further complicating treatment and making it harder to diagnose.

Lesson Summary

Plasmodium ovale is a parasite that lives on or inside of another organism (the host), to the detriment of the host.

Plasmodium ovale is one of over 100 Plasmodium species that all cause malaria. The female Anopheles mosquito acts as a vector, or transmission agent, in the transmission of Plasmodium ovale. It can take seven to ten days before the host starts to experience any symptoms. Symptoms of infection are fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. The best treatment for any type of malaria is prevention. It is advisable that all travelers be aware of their chances of infection when they travel. Once contracted, malaria is treated using multiple oral and / or intravenous medications.

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