So I got malaria a week or so ago. In point of fact I don’t know whether there were any P. Falciparum or P. Vivax crawling around my red blood cells, but at the very least it was a bad fever with most of the telling symptoms. I think a lot of us who are interested in the role of science in development keep abreast of the various scientific and economic happenings in the struggle to control malaria, but those of us in the developed world usually have at best an abstract sense of what malaria is.
It’s a cyclical fever, and that part isn’t pleasant, and the parasite can cause lasting damage to the liver, which is scary, and it can kill, particularly children, which is merciless, but it hurts. I can only self report anecdotally, and as a foreigner being exposed for the first time during adulthood, but I’ll always remember waking up with that pain in my muscles whilst shaking from the chills.
Luckily, and I’m much more aware now of just how luckily, as a member of the Peace Corps I have the right medications and someone to call to guide me through it. God Bless the Peace Corps Medical Officer, who is amazing, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals I say.