Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
People at risk for contracting malaria are those that visit endemic areas where the Malaria mosquito and parasites are prevalent.
The disease starts with a rapid onset of flu-like symptoms and fever and can progress to severe disease that requires hospitalisation. The death rate from complicated malaria is also high and urgent treatment is required.
Testing is performed by collecting a blood sample and doing a rapid test (Antigen test) that will detect if Malaria is present. If the antigen test is positive a blood film or smear will be made to visualize the parasites, identify the specific species and also establish the severity by counting the percentage red blood cell infestation.
Malaria is often ordered for the following people: