Patient Comments: Malaria - Symptoms

Question:

What were your malaria symptoms and signs? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Glenn, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 16

I am a Survivor of malaria strain P.falciparum. First signs were typical cold and flu for a day then a good run for 4 days then a cyclic pattern of recurring symptoms over the next few days in 24hr cycles. Each recurrence was worse than the previous. The lead-in took about 7 to 8days. The symptoms eventually did not give any further relief days and the cycles melded into bad and worse days. Starting now at day 1, the symptoms worsened to lethargy, lack of concentration and shortness of breath along with normal flu aches and pains. A visit to the local medical centre for suspect flu on day 1, routine malaria tests were negative. I am feeling slightly better on day 2, but certainly not functional. I am back to the medical centre on day 3 and doctor was convinced by looking at me, that I had a strain of malaria. More routine tests returned another negative result so back to the lounge room floor. The next day now day 4, I could lay dead still for 4 to 6 hours and only move to go to the toilet. Returning to the floor, my heart rate was at about 160bpm and the energy exerted required a good 4 hour rest again. On day 5 and the third visit to the medical centre, the blood test came back positive and the strain was identified. The doctor sincerely concerned with the strain identified and the duration of my illness. I was medivac'd to Australia. Further medication was given on arrival. Full Recovery took 9 months, but damage was done. For 2 to 3 months I remained on the lounge room floor. During the 3rd and 4th month, I had to train my muscles to walk again at the local shopping centre. By the end of the 5th month I could walk one full length of a shopping centre. A further 4 months passed with daily walks before I was back to normal. By the 12th month I was struck by depression and then spent 3 months working out of it, but that's another story.

Comment from: Bel-Jozzie SA, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

Tomorrow I will get to find out if I contracted malaria! I was in Mozambique years ago not hot, pleasant time to go, but first evening I got bitten! I sprayed my bitten area and rest of the body with "Peaceful Sleep" repellant aerosol. It was the third trip to this part of Mozambique. A week later, not even I got fever blisters on my top lip (almost occupied the whole upper lip). Thinking my immune system is down, just used fever blister cream and it took basically two weeks to recover. Whilst recovering I started getting nauseous. Funny sensation in my stomach did not do well with smells or car trips. Last week Thursday I got up had 1/3 of the cup of coffee, then took my BP medication and I went back to bed, as body was saw (like fever type) chest was sore, (could not even smoke) as I got in I had to get up to go and vomit. There after experienced weird body pains and I was extremely cold, shivers and lower back pains! I could not eat, I just wanted tea, but slept the entire day and night. The next day I thought I had the energy to go back to work, had a bath, but forget it went back into bed. Over the weekend I felt slightly better but the nausea was still there. It is just a weird sensation! You feel you are not right! I feel my eyes are getting blurry and it feels like there is sand in them! I wake up sweaty in the mornings even though it's freezing cold here. Today decided to go to doctor and I described the symptoms to the doc and he asked if I recently visited malaria stricken area! He also noted I had fever blisters- (slight red traces on upper lip). He then told me it sounds like I got malaria! I will get my blood results tomorrow and hope that its still in early stages as I am a sufferer of PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) and reading other comments has scared the living daylight out of me. I will comment back with feed back if it was positive or negative.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I contracted malaria after a beach holiday in Mozambique. The first sign was a flu-like ache in my joints, followed by a mild headache, then a fever, which broke some hours later in the night in a torrent of sweat! A severe headache and pain in my shoulders and lower back, along with horrible nausea took me to bed for an afternoon and a night, but I had already started treatment with a drug called Coartem 20/120 (artemether lumefantrine). After that second horrid night, the fevers and chills stopped, but the sweating occurred on and off in milder and milder form until the third day.

Comment from: kahutes, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 09

I contracted falciparum malaria in Vietnam in 1968 with a temperature of 106 to 107 I had been told. I wonder if there could be some brain damage related with this occurrence or a connection in some way that may have affected my sometimes irrational behavior and confusion over these years.

Comment from: Malcolm, 55-64 Male Published: March 20

I had malaria in 1980 when I was working in Kenya. I spent six weeks in the hospital and lost a lot of weight, which made me very weak for weeks after. After a few years, I visited Bali. While I was there, I was bitten by a mosquito on the leg and had to have an injection because my leg had swollen up so bad. I had a difficult time walking. I have found over the years that I get a swelling to the area when I get bitten by a mosquito.

Comment from: moggy, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: March 20

I contracted malaria in West Africa very recently. The strange thing is it didn't appear until six weeks after I returned to the U.K. My initial symptoms were fatigue, severe chills followed by sweats, difficulty breathing, and frequent headaches. Thankfully, it wasn't the most severe form of the disease.

Comment from: faithie, Female (Caregiver) Published: April 05

When I had malaria, I always had aches and pains, a bitter mouth, and body pains.

Comment from: tyedye, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

My dad suffered from Malaria from his time serving in Philippines in WWII. I remember he used to have reoccurring episodes. Out of 3 brothers that served, he was the only one in the jungles. In 1992, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A few years ago my sister (8 years younger) was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Now within the last year, my brother, (9 years younger) was diagnosed with arthritis. We three are the only ones sick out of 12 cousins.

Comment from: sierra, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I got malaria in Sierra Leone. It started with severe tiredness. I passed out one evening. I had a slight headache and a sore lower back and shoulder. I spent three days in the hospital. It's day five now, and I still feel sweaty every few hours and tired. I still have a slight headache and sore left shoulder. I also have a yellow color to skin and eyes.

Comment from: Alrina, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

Chills, sore muscles, one hell of a headache, lack of appetite, slight neck stiffness. The first time I confused the symptoms with stress related muscle tension and headache and ended up in the hospital. The second time around I experienced the sensitivity of my skin, nausea, headache and muscle pains. The third time around, I experienced fatigue, chills, sensitive skin and muscle pains. I did a home malaria test and now I'm able to start treatment. Now I am wary and rather take the preventive medicine.

Published: March 06

I contracted malaria from West Africa after a visit. My symptoms started as fatigue and later developed into lack of appetite, pain in neck and lower back, severe headaches, and strange dreams that were accompanied by fevers (usually). Since treatment, I still experience the strange/vivid dreams and feel fatigued. I have noticed that the side effects to many of treatment meds are dreams, but it doesn't seem to go together. I haven't had to take any more meds in more than a month. My glands are still slightly swollen, and the dreams are awfully strange.

Comment from: Prepared!, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I began with the flu symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and feeling bad all over. Then the second or third day the fever began. I thought I had the flu. In reality, the malaria was so strong that I had serious renal/kidney complications. I work in missions in malaria-infested regions and contracted it with a prophylaxis. My recommendation is that you begin treatment immediately even if you suspect it's the flu. I also recommend that people purchase Coartem and carry it back to their home country with them.

Comment from: Blackhawk, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 06

My malaria started as being really tired and weak. I started sweating and couldn't concentrate. By the third day, I was really weak and sick. I passed out on the streets of Hong Kong. I was taken to the British Military Hospital where I spent the next 24 days. My average temperature for the first three days was 104. I was mostly out of it, coming to occasionally when they gave me another ice bath. It took me months to get back to the strong Army dude I had been before.

Comment from: Ejiogu, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: October 24

My malaria started with a bad headache, then fever and body pains, then diarrhea, then my hands and my feet burning all the time. The fever came around and then serious weight loss.

Comment from: natie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I live in a country where malaria is endermic and I have suffered from malaria several times and the last time I had it, I woke up with no indication that I was ill. I went for work as usual but in the early afternoon I suddenly started feeling extremely cold and no amount of warm clothing could keep me warm. A blood test at the clinic confirmed that I had malaria. Off course I was not able to go for work for a week due to the same poorly feelings/experiences described by others above. The thing with malaria is that you may want to get up and work but the body is weakened so much that you fail to even get up. Worse still, your appetite just disappears! Timely and appropriate treatment is absolutely essential.

Comment from: helga, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

Thanks for article! The treatment of Malaria should be started immediately after discovering it. It is very important to treat the disease because it can cause death. There are available several drugs on the market that should be taken in the early stages of the disease.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 16

I was deployed in several countries and was given chloroquine and primaquine each time. This was 20 years ago and I still get bone breaking chills that shake me so hard it wakes my wife up on our temper pedic bed. After this I get sudden soaking sweats and fever and pain about once a year. I am still having symptoms every year after all these years.

IMAGES

Malaria See pictures of Bacterial Skin Conditions See Images
Comment from: worldnomad, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I caught malaria after a 6 week NGO assignment in Senegal last month. I first noticed a fever developing in the daytime and by night it had turned into a raging fever. I had a splitting headache, spiking temps, very sore back and muscle pain. That intense fever lasted for 24 hours. I thought malaria would be more serious than that, but the doctor confirmed that's what it was. For the next week I had diarrhea, vomited frequently and had severe nausea largely thanks to malaria medication side effects. I was very fatigued for 2 weeks and just slept almost non stop

SLIDESHOW

Bad Bugs: Identify Bug Bites From Mosquitos, Spiders and More See Slideshow

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.