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Symptoms of Cerebral Malaria

Blood Diseases By Onlymyhealth Staff Writer , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Aug 27, 2018
Symptoms of Cerebral Malaria

The symptoms of cerebral malaria can become fatal within few days of onset. The signs of cerebral malaria include orthostatic hypotension chills, headache, muscle pain, lower blood pressure and altered state of consciousness.

Quick Bites
  • Early symptoms are fever and impaired consciousness.
  • Persistent orthostatic hypotension chills is another characteristic.
  • The symptoms occur in three stages - cold, hot and sweat stage.
  • The signs of cerebral malaria may become fatal within a few days.

Cerebral malaria is the most severe neurological complication caused by plasmodium falciparum, a protozoan parasite. Plasmodium gets transmitted to human via infected mosquito bites. Cerebral malaria is the most dangerous and life-threatening form of malaria that affects the brain and causes mutation.

 Also read: Causes of Malaria.

Symptoms of Cerebral malaria

Initially, only few symptoms of cerebral malaria show up in both children and adults. These include:

  • non-specific fever
  • impaired consciousness
  • convulsion and neurological abnormalities
  • coma that may last for three days at a stretch.


The main symptoms of cerebral malaria include:

  • persistent orthostatic hypotension chills
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • low blood pressure
  • altered state of consciousness.
Also read: Types of Malaria.

In cerebral malaria, attacks may occur every second day and may last for 6-10 hours. The symptoms usually occur in three stages:

  • Cold Stage: sensations of cold and extreme shivering. This may last for 1-2 hours.
  • Hot Stage: It is characterised by headaches, vomiting, seizures in young children and high fever i.e. up to 107°F. This may last for 3-4 hours.
  • Sweating Stage: It is characterised by profuse sweating and tiredness. This stage may last for 2-4 hours.


Common signs of cerebral malaria include:

  • mild jaundice
  • anemia
  • enlargement of liver and spleen
  • kidney failure
  • blood in urine
  • rise in intracranial pressure
  • delirium and seizures
  • increased respiratory rate


The signs of cerebral malaria may become fatal within a few days. Since the natural resistance of immune system is not helpful, one must immediately go for artificial treatments.

Read more articles on Malaria.

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Written by
Onlymyhealth Staff Writer
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial teamAug 27, 2018

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