I contracted Malaria 3.5 years ago (either in Uganda or Rwanda). I believe it was the Plasmodium falciparum strain. Upon my diagnosis, I was treated and have been healthy since.
In regards to pregnancy, is it safe for me to have a baby? What are the chances of passing the malaria virus to the baby?
First of all, malaria is caused by a single-celled parasite, not a virus. Secondly, you probably don’t have to worry—malaria is only very rarely transmitted directly between a mother and her unborn baby, via infected red blood cells passing through the placenta. When I say rare, I mean very rare, especially in developed countries without endemic transmission. There are only 48 cases of this occurring in the United States in the last 60 years, for example. Moreover, this can only occur if you actually have malaria during the pregnancy; if you were successfully treated when you had malaria 3.5 years ago, the parasite should no longer be present at all in your body.
P. falciparum does not lay dormant in the body, unlike some other types of malaria. The only thing to consider is if you plan to travel to malarial areas while you are pregnant – pregnancy makes women more vulnerable to malaria infection, and many forms of malaria preventative medication and treatment have not been thoroughly tested for safety in pregnant women. If you are planning on travelling to malarial areas while pregnant, it would be wise to consult with a specialist travel doctor for the most up-to-date recommendations of malaria prevention when pregnant.