Five types of malaria

There are five types of human malaria.

  • Plasmodium falciparum

  • Plasmodium vivax

  • Plasmodium malariae

  • Plasmodium oval

  • Plasmodium knowlesi

Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly form and is most common in Africa. This form is also called 'brain malaria' or 'malaria tropica'. This form of malaria can be deadly within 48 hours.

An infection with Plasmodium falciparum can lead to death for pregnant women and young children within a few days if it is not treated effectively within 48 hours. The fatal course of this infection is caused, among other things, by infected red blood cells getting stuck in small blood vessels of essential organs, such as the brain. As a result, blood vessels become clogged, which impedes the supply of oxygen and nutrients. In addition, damage to blood vessels and organ tissue occurs. Without treatment with effective medication, this leads to the loss of vital functions of all organs, followed by coma and ultimately death.

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