Steps taken to check spread of asymptomatic malaria

kolkata: At a time when about 10 cases of asymptomatic malaria have been detected in the city over a span of two weeks, the state government is taking measures to combat the same and check the further spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, such cases have left doctors and health professionals worried at a time when they are preparing for a possible third wave of Covid.

These patients, including four children, have been admitted to various hospitals in the city with malaria. Their ailments could not be detected initially as none of them reported common symptoms of malaria. Most of them did not complain of fever and shivering, instead they complained of respiratory distress, coughing and weakness. As a result, the doctors did not initially suspect that they could have been affected by malaria. According to sources, the children who have been affected, mostly complained of nausea, diarrhea and coughing. The doctors initially treated for diarrhea and coughing but no improvement took place. None of these children complained of fever. A series of tests were later conducted and it was found that they are affected by malaria. The adult patients are mainly suffering from respiratory distress, fatigue, convulsions, unwillingness to take food and mild fever within a gap of 24-48 hours in some cases.It was learnt from the sources that two patients who were admitted to a private hospital in South Kolkata had to be put under ventilation. The doctors have expressed concern as the nature of the malaria has changed completely. They suspect that the malaria-causing parasite has changed its characteristics like the coronavirus.

"Normal symptom for malaria is high temperature. As the patients are not complaining about high fever it is quite difficult for the doctors to diagnose initially. These patients are complaining about nausea and respiratory distress which are common symptoms of Covid as well. Like coronavirus, the malaria parasite also appears to change its characteristics. If someone suffers from nausea for long, he/she should also undergo a malaria test," said Dr Gopeswar Mukherjee, a senior pathologist from the city.

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