Symptoms of malaria in babies

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 22, 2015

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  • Infant can become drowsy and irritable.
  • Poor appetite and troubled sleep are some of the symptoms.
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also occur.
  • Fever followed by sweating continues for weeks.

Malaria in babies is a greater cause for concern than the same to adults. In particular, children below five years of age are at an increased risk of severe complications. Timely treatment is of essence in preventing the symptoms from turning worse. Malaria symptoms in babies should be identified as early as possible to facilitate in timely treatment. What makes early diagnosis more important in babies is that the common anti-malarial drugs are not safe for them.

Malaria symptoms in babies

Common malaria symptoms in babies

  • If the infant is drowsy and more irritable than usual, it can be a sign of malaria infection.
  • Poor appetite with troubled sleep after fever with chills, cold, shivering and rapid breathing.
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also result due to malaria, though this is not always the case.
  • The 3 to 4 days cycle of rise in fever followed by a lot of sweating continues for weeks and can cross a month.

The P. falciparum parasite, one of the five parasites that cause malaria, can affect the central nervous system of the infants too. Some babies even experience convulsions and seizures, and lose consciousness in some cases.

Malaria symptoms in babies

Children older than 5 years usually experience symptoms similar to adults like cold, high fever, chills, shivering and then the next stage of the fever in which the fever reaches its highest and leaves skin hot and dry. This is generally followed by sweating which has the effect of cooling the body down. The child can also have headaches and niggling pain all over his body.

You need to contact your doctor immediately in case your child shows these symptoms of malaria. It is especially important as malaria symptoms in babies can be much similar to those of viral fever, flu and also dengue or chikungunya.

Image source: Getty Images

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