What are the signs and symptoms of malaria?

The symptoms of malaria are not specific and can be mistaken for other diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose.

A blood test must be made to be sure of what you are suffering from.

It is also vital that treatment starts within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, to prevent progression to severe malaria or death.

The main symptoms include:
  • A high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F) or above (occurs at regular times)
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating and shivers (also known as rigors)
  • Body & Muscle pains
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea

In some cases, it can affect the brain or kidneys.

In many health centers in Africa and malaria-prone regions, it is common to see patients with these signs and symptoms being treated for malaria even before lab results come in.

All the signs and symptoms can be similar to other infections, but if they show in particularly malaria-prone countries, they are most likely to be as a result of malaria.