My Father aged 65 years was diagnosed with 2 types of malaria almost a week back. he has been given medicines but temperature is fluctuating and not coming down. all other organs are functionining properly except platelet count which is little less.
Now he has been suggested new medicines for a duration of 14 days.
How fast can he recover from this malaria and when will the fever come down?
When patients are given the appropriate treatment against malaria, the fever is usually reduced very quickly and the patient will start to recover after a few days. The right kind of treatment depends on the severity of the infection and the type (or, in your father’s case, types) of malaria the patient is infected with.
If your father was infected with P. falciparum alongside another type of malaria (probably P. vivax, P. malariae or P. ovale), then he should have first received an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) drug first. These drugs combine artemisinin or a derivative (such as artemether, artesunate or dihydroartemisinin) with another anti-malarial, such as lumefantrine. Common brand names of these ACTs include Coartem, Alu and Duo-Cotecxin.
There are no reported cases of resistance to these combination therapies at present, so if your father continued to feel sick after completing this treatment, he should be re-tested for malaria; it is possible that the malaria parasites were killed, and his continuing fever was an after effect either of the medication or just an indication that the body was recovering from the infection.
If he was re-tested and found positive, then other second-line drugs can be prescribed. However, it is important to note that malaria is resistant to chloroquine in many areas, and so this drug is not suitable for treatment in these places. Similarly, resistance is widespread to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamines, such as Fansidar, and in south-east Asia, P. falciparum is also resistant to mefloquine (Lariam) in some cases. As such, your father’s doctor should be careful to prescribe him an appropriate treatment for the area in which he is living.
In addition, if your father was found to be co-infected with either P. vivax or P. ovale, then there is a chance of later relapse into malaria again, weeks or even months after the initial infection has been treated. This is because the parasites in these types of malaria can form dormant stages in the liver, where they escape being killed by the normal forms of treatment. In this case, your father should ask about the possibility of being treated with primaquine; the course is normally 14 days, so it may be that this is what his doctors have currently given him. If so, this will kill the dormant liver stages and prevent relapse. Prior to taking primaquine, patients should be tested for G6DP deficiency, as patients with this condition may become dangerously anaemic when they take primaquine.