Monday, July 28, 2008

Chapter Six: The Diagnosis

The diagnosis for Sufi's illness is Malaria.
We kind of expected that diagnosis, but now that we know for certainty it makes it even harder not to be with him.

I know malaria is pretty serious, but I have to admit, I did not know that much about the disease, nor what effects it has. So I did some research. I was a bit shocked to know how bad it was, and to know that there really is not an immunization for this disease. I also was shocked at how prevalent this disease is, even in our current times.
I stand educated!
is a serious, infectious disease spread by certain mosquitoes. It is most common in tropical climates. It is characterized by recurrent symptoms of chills,fever, and an enlarged spleen. The disease can be treated with medication, but it often recurs. Malaria is endemic (occurs frequently in a particular locality) in many third world countries. Isolated, small outbreaks sometimes occur within the boundaries of the United States.
Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted from one human to another by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. In humans, the parasites (called sporozoites) migrate to the liver where they mature and release another form, the merozoites. These enter the bloodstream and infect the red blood cells.after red blood cells rupture.

Malaria Life Cycle

The parasites multiply inside the red blood cells, which then rupture within 48 to 72 hours, infecting more red blood cells. The first symptoms usually occur 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, though they can appear as early as 8 days or as long as a year later. Then the symptoms occur in cycles of 48 to 72 hours.
The majority of symptoms are caused by the massive release of merozoites into the bloodstream, the anemia resulting from the destruction of the red blood cells, & the problems caused by large amounts of free hemoglobin released into the circulation
Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs.
The type of drugs and length of treatment depend on the type of malaria, where the person was infected, their age, whether they are pregnant, and how sick they are at the start of treatment.

World View
Malaria is not a serious problem in the United States.The picture is far more bleak outside the territorial boundaries of the United States. Malaria infects between 300 and 500 million people every year in Africa, India, southeast Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and Central and South America. About 2 million of the infected die each year. Most of the cases and almost all of the deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. At the present time, malaria kills about twice as many people as does AIDS. As many as half a billion people worldwide are left with chronic anemia due to malaria infection. In some parts of Africa, people battle up to 40 or more separate episodes of malaria in their lifetimes. The spread of malaria is becoming even more serious as the parasites that cause malaria develop resistance to the drugs used to treat the condition.

According to the World Health Organization, each year nearly 500 million people become infected with malaria, and nearly three million, mostly children, die from it. Areas around the world facing the greatest risk, shown reddish brown, harbor some of the world's most impoverished people.
Sites to check out and learn more:

and more.
Now I know this sounds bleak, and horrible, but we are not despairing. He was given medication and is already doing so much better! Out of this we learned a little more about Sufi's personality. Apparently as sick as he was, he was quiet, amiable, did not complain at all, and not in the least bit colicky. They could hardly tell he was sick, except for the coughing and fever. The director said he is quite the hardy boy!

We are still praying for him, and hoping he will recover quickly and completely. We will continue to pray that he does not relapse, nor contract it again (anyone can get it over and over again).