What is the effect of malaria on host?
In the human host, malaria can often make a person very sick, though the exact symptoms and severity of the disease depends on the type of malaria (five different kinds of malaria infect humans). Many people will have a high fever, chills, nausea and body aches. In a symptom very typical of malaria, a patient will experience cyclical fever, with periods of no fever in between, lasting between one and two days. In infections with Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous kind of malaria, patients may experience impaired consciousness, a sign of “cerebral malaria”, which can lead to loss of consciousness, coma and even death.
In terms of the mosquito host (more commonly called the vector), the insect does not experience “illness” in the same way as the human host, and the parasite does not seem to have a particularly negative effect on the mosquito. However, some research has shown that infection with malaria may cause a mosquito to seek out blood meals more frequently, which scientists argue is an adaptation of the malaria parasite to ensure that its life cycle is continued.
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