Infectious Disease Specialist Questions Malaria

Is malaria an infectious disease?

My husband is exhibiting symptoms of malaria. I have a small child aged 2 years at home. Are there chances that my son could get infected from the disease too, if my husband has malaria?

5 Answers

How People Get Malaria (Transmission)
How is malaria transmitted?
Usually, people get malaria by being bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken from an infected person. When a mosquito bites an infected person, a small amount of blood is taken in, which contains microscopic malaria parasites. About 1 week later, when the mosquito takes its next blood meal, these parasites mix with the mosquito’s saliva and are injected into the person being bitten.
Because the malaria parasite is found in red blood cells of an infected person, malaria can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, organ transplant, or the shared use of needles or syringes contaminated with blood. Malaria may also be transmitted from a mother to her unborn infant before or during delivery (“congenital” malaria).
Is malaria a contagious disease?
No. Malaria is not spread from person to person like a cold or the flu, and it cannot be sexually transmitted. You cannot get malaria from casual contact with malaria-infected people, such as sitting next to someone who has malaria.
Thank you for your question. Malaria is a parasitic infection of the red cells and liver and other organs, transmitted only by particular species of mosquitoes. Unless you live in an endemic zone, there is no transmission person to person, and even that only by those mosquitoes. There are treatments, but no vaccines at this time.
Your son is at no risk of contracting malaria from your husband, if he has malaria. Malaria can only be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Was your husband in an area of the world that has malaria transmission?
If he is infected your son could only be infected from your husband if he was bitten by a mosquito that had previously bitten your husband.
If your husband is at risk for malaria and has fever or chills he should be immediately seen by an infectious disease specialist through your local ER and hospital.
Yes it is an infectious disease. However it is typically not spread from one person to another.
In most cases, the malaria parasite has to first pass from a human host into a mosquito as the mosquito takes a blood meal, and then from the mosquito into another human via the mosquito’s saliva. This severely limits the amount of person-to-person transmission that exists. In fact, the only mechanisms for direct transmission between humans are when malaria parasites are passed between a mother and her unborn child via the placenta (congenital transmission) and through unscreened blood transfusions.