COVID-19 and Malaria: Can You Tell The Symptoms Apart?

It is very confusing to find if you have malaria or COVID-19 considering both shows similar initial symptoms.

Gandharv Gulati
Other DiseasesWritten by: Gandharv GulatiPublished at: Aug 17, 2020
COVID-19 and Malaria: Can You Tell The Symptoms Apart?

This year has landed us all in trouble with the deadly coronavirus. What has made it even more complicated is that this autoimmune illness mimics other mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria. The initial symptoms of malaria and COVID-19 viral infection are so similar that they aren’t easily differentiable. But we should know the major differences between these two for our better health.

COVID-19 and Malaria are poles apart

Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness that is caused when an infected female anopheles mosquito bites a healthy person and transfers the parasite in the body. COVID-19 is an autoimmune infection that is caused due to transmission of coronavirus through respiratory droplets and direct physical contact.

These two are entirely different diseases in terms of causes and methods of transmission. While coronavirus is a contagious disease that can spread from one person to another, malaria is only caused after getting bitten by the infected mosquito and cannot be transmitted further.

What is the link between COVID-19 and Malaria?

After Hydroxychloroquine malarial drug was identified to be a potential drug in controlling coronavirus symptoms in an infected person, people started to link coronavirus and malaria. All of a sudden, it was touted as a life-saving drug but its ineffectiveness was proved later on. It only helped in reducing the malarial symptoms in the patients but had no role to play in the recovery. In unfortunate events, some people experienced adverse effects after taking this drug.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Malaria and Yellow Fever?

Different symptoms of malaria and coronavirus

The symptoms of COVID-19 are updated every now and then. Almost every day, scientists find a new symptom of this virus after an extensive examination. It started off as an autoimmune disease with high fever, chills, cold, sore throat but now there is a long list of potential symptoms of COVID-19. After contracting the virus, a person may show symptoms within 3-14 days(excluding asymptomatic patients that do not show symptoms at all) where the later, the severe symptoms.

The symptoms of malaria remain the same then and now. Fever, chills, headache, cold, etc. are also the first symptoms of malaria that a person experiences after 10-15 days of the infective mosquito bite.

While most symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to malaria, there are many other symptoms that differentiate these two illnesses. These are:

  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry cough
  • Joint and muscle aches & pains
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Pink eye or conjunctivitis
  • Skin rashes
  • Discolouration of toes and fingers

If you see these symptoms along with the malarial symptoms, you should immediately undergo COVID-19 testing to find if you have contracted the virus. Besides, isolate yourself from others to prevent transmission.

There is so much panic in people about the coronavirus that they may have malaria or viral flu but they get worried about coronavirus. This is why it is a must for all to stay updated about the symptoms of coronavirus. It is not necessary that you would exhibit flu-like symptoms after contracting this virus. Thus, timely diagnosis and treatment play a pivotal role in preventing fatal consequences carried by COVID-19.

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