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Malaria Test: How to Choose the Right Testing Option Based on Cost?

Malaria is one of the most alarming health concerns worldwide, transmitted through mosquitoes. According to WHO, malaria infected around 241 million people worldwide, resulting in 627,000 fatalities in 2022. At the same time, high-burden countries have shown a promising decline in the number of deaths due to malaria.

The World Malaria Report 2022 states that India, Congo, the United Republic of Tanzania, Niger, and Ghana have registered a decline in malaria deaths. What is the essential factor for combating malaria? Concerns regarding the malaria test price and effectiveness of malaria tests can be prominent setbacks for the treatment and eradication of malaria.

Let us find more details about malaria tests and the expected costs of the tests in the following post.

Early History of Malaria Detection

Before learning about malaria tests, you should know some interesting insights about the early evidence of malaria detection. The references to diseases similar to malaria have been traced back to a Chinese document from 2700 BC, Hindu texts from the 6th century BC and clay tablets from the Mesopotamian civilization. Did you know that people believed foul air rising from the swamps was a cause of malaria? In 1880, Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran discovered that plasmodium parasites cause malaria.

Understanding the Disease

The next step in identifying the right malaria tests would involve clearly understanding the disease, its causes, and its symptoms. Malaria is caused by infected Anopheles mosquitoes, which carry the Plasmodium parasites responsible for the disease. The parasites infect the red blood cells, which could make a healthy person sick and weak. One of the notable aspects of malaria is that it is not a contagious disease. However, it can be transmitted through blood transfusions, organ transplants, needle sharing, and transmission from pregnant mothers to newborns.

Learning about timely malaria tests is vital for early diagnosis to ensure timely treatment. One of the significant reasons for malaria-related deaths is the delay in diagnosis. On top of it, the symptoms of malaria take around ten days to manifest, and most of them are similar to the regular flu. The most common symptoms of malaria include high fever, chills, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle pain. In addition, patients can also experience other symptoms, such as anemia and profuse sweating.

Types of Malaria Tests

The severity of the symptoms of malaria can increase over time without proper medication. Therefore, testing is mandatory for treating malaria before it results in fatal conditions. Healthcare providers check a patient’s symptoms and recommend blood tests for verifying signs of malarial infection. The blood test involves a health professional taking a blood sample from a vein in the arm with a small needle.

The blood sample can be subjected to different tests to confirm the presence of malaria. First of all, the blood sample would be sent for a Rapid Diagnostic Test or RDT, which helps in detecting antigens specific to malaria parasites. As a result, RDTs are known for offering a faster diagnosis of malaria.

On the other hand, the blood smear test is essential for verifying the presence of infection. The blood smear test involves a microscopic examination of a drop of blood to search for malarial parasites in the sample.

Another notable malaria test is the Polymerase Chain Reaction test or PCR test. It is an important test that helps healthcare professionals identify the ideal course of treatment for malaria patients. The PCR test is recommended in cases where the blood sample has a low parasite count or delivers vague results in the blood smear test.

Malaria Test Price

Going for a malaria test is essential, as it can save your life. The pricing of malaria tests can vary from one pathology service provider to another. The cost of a malaria test in India starts from Rs 100 and could go up to Rs 660, depending on the type of test.

In addition, the disease’s progression level can also require different tests, which can elevate the testing costs. However, choosing the right healthcare service providers with a broad range of testing and treatment facilities can help you obtain the best value for your money.

Conclusion

The burden of malaria on global healthcare is gradually decreasing with efforts from the WHO and national governments worldwide. Testing remains the main line of defense against malaria-related fatalities alongside prevention. You can follow simple practices such as covering the skin completely and using mosquito repellents and bed nets to prevent mosquito bites.

On the other hand, knowledge of malaria tests is helpful for seeking the best treatment for malaria. Most importantly, the cost of malaria tests is affordable and is a reasonable price to pay for better health. Find the right healthcare service provider for a comprehensive assortment of malaria tests suited to your budget and health needs.

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