Malaria, which is derived from the Italian mala aria- bad air-, is also known as ague, paludism, jungle fever, marsh variety of intermittent fever or vishama which has a tendency to return or recur after subsided.
Causes and Symptoms Of Malaria
Malaria as a disease has been known since ancient times, but it was only 1898 when it was conclusively proved that the anopheles mosquito transmits the disease. Malaria is found all over the world, but is endemic in tropical climates where there are marshes or pools of stagnant water, rank vegetation, and a poorly fed population. An interesting fact is that it is the female mosquito that bites the prospective malarial patient. The male mosquito does not carry the parasites which cause the disease.
The parasites transmitted by the female mosquito enter the blood stream and reach the liver where they mature and multiple. From there, they are released into the blood stream. Whatever nay be causative organism, the susceptibility to disease is also another factor. If that were not so, all persons exposed to mosquitoes of the malarial variety would suffer from malaria. According to Ayurveda, this susceptibility increase or decreases according to the vitiation of the three dashes of the body. Acharyas have categorized malaria according to the predominant dosha, whose vitiation leads to an attack of malaria.
For a day or two before the actual fever sets in there may be headache, vague pain in the body and the limbs accompanied by a feeling of chill and a slight rise of temperature. An acute malarial attack has three stages: the cold stage, the hot stage, and the sweating stages, the cold stages begin with a feeling of intense chill even in the hottest weather. In spite of the chill the temperature of the body feels burning hot, the fever rising to 40.6ºor 41.1ºC. The patient also experiences headache, dizziness, pain throughout the body and even delirium. This stage may last for hours. After the fever has reached its highest point, the third stage begins; it starts with profuse sweating and a gradual lowering of the body temperature. As the temperature falls, the dizziness, headaches, and pain in the body recede, and the patient feels relieved though weakness persists.