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Diagnostic Lab Tests For Malaria: A boundless Challenge

by John Milton
Diagnostic Lab Tests For Malaria

A significant worldwide health issue is malaria. A kid dies from the illness every two minutes in Africa, where there were 214 million cases of malaria in 2015 and an estimated 429,000 deaths.

All forms of malaria cannot be diagnosed by a single test. Based on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and travel experiences, a diagnosis must be formed. Blood tests are the most popular diagnostic procedures for malaria.

The first step in diagnosing malaria is to obtain a patient’s blood sample. The sample is next tested for the presence of parasites under a microscope. The size and morphology of the parasites can be used to determine whether they are present.

The next step is to perform a second blood test to confirm the diagnosis. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is what is used for this. The parasite species causing the infection can be determined by the malaria test.

Medication can be used to treat the patient if the diagnosis is certain. Depending on how severe the illness is, there are numerous different forms of medication that can be utilised.

It is crucial to discuss preventive measures with your doctor if you intend to visit a country where malaria is prevalent. Your risk of getting sick can be lowered by practising prevention.

Speaking with your doctor is the best method to figure out which of the numerous diagnostic tests available for malaria is best for you. Malaria may be a disease that might be cured with early detection and treatment.

Why should you never ignore a malaria diagnosis?

Malaria is a potentially fatal illness brought on by parasites that people contract through mosquito bites from infected insects. Malaria can result in serious disease and even death if neglected. Therefore, it’s crucial to never disregard a malaria diagnosis. Serious disease-related consequences must be identified and treated as soon as possible. Don’t wait to consult a doctor if you suspect you have malaria.

If untreated, malaria is a dangerous condition that frequently results in death. Serious disease-related consequences must be identified and treated as soon as possible. You should consult a doctor right away if you suspect you have malaria.

Getting treated for malaria as soon as possible is essential since it can cause serious sickness and even death. Do not wait to seek medical attention if you experience any malarial symptoms. Your life can be saved with early detection and treatment.

How do you choose the right diagnostic lab test for malaria?

When selecting a diagnostic lab malaria test, there are a few factors to take into account.

  • What are the test’s sensitivity and specificity? Sensitivity is the ability of the malaria test to accurately identify those who have the condition. The capacity of the test to accurately identify people who do not have the disease is referred to as specificity.
  • How long does it take to get the results? The more quickly the outcomes, the better. The more quickly the outcomes, the better. 
  • How much will the test cost?
  • What is the test’s availability? Is it widely accessible or just in particular places?

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing is regarded as the gold standard for diagnosing malaria in terms of sensitivity and specificity. A blood sample can be used for PCR testing, which can find trace levels of the parasite’s DNA. PCR tests, however, are not always accessible and can be pricey. Another method for diagnosing malaria is via RDTs (rapid diagnostic tests).

Another crucial factor to take into account is the turnaround time for results. Results from the malaria test can come in a few hours or a few days. On the other hand, RDTs often deliver results in 15 minutes.

Generally speaking, the malaria test is more expensive than RDT in terms of price. However, the price of each test can differ based on the nation and the particular test being used. PCR testing is not always accessible, particularly in areas with a lack of resources. RDTs, however, are far more commonly accessible.

Conclusion

A final point to be made is that, while diagnostic tests are vital in the fight against malaria, they are only one part of the puzzle. A comprehensive approach that includes vector control, prompt and effective treatment and education on prevention measures is needed. With continued research and development, we can overcome the challenge of diagnosing malaria and save countless lives.

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, yet it continues to claim the lives of millions of people each year. A major obstacle in the fight against malaria is the lack of reliable diagnostic tests and this is particularly problematic in resource-poor settings with limited access to laboratory facilities. We must do everything we can to control the spread of malaria and provide prompt and effective treatment to infected people.

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