For the diagnosis of malaria, your doctor is likely to assess your medical history and recent travel, perform a physical examination, and prescribe blood tests. These blood tests serve to:

  • Confirm the presence of the parasite in the blood, validating the malaria diagnosis.
  • Identify the specific type of malaria parasite responsible for your symptoms.
  • Determine if the infection is attributed to a parasite resistant to particular drugs.
  • Assess whether the disease is causing any significant complications.
  • The duration for some blood tests may extend over several days, while others can yield results in under 15 minutes.

Depending on your symptoms, additional diagnostic tests may be recommended by your doctor to evaluate potential complications.


Treating malaria involves the use of prescription medications tailored to eliminate the parasite. The choice of drugs and the duration of treatment depend on several factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Pregnancy status
  • The type of malaria parasite involved
  • The severity of symptoms

Common antimalarial drugs include:

  • Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs): ACTs involve a combination of two or more drugs targeting the malaria parasite through distinct mechanisms. This approach is typically preferred for chloroquine-resistant malaria. Examples include artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate-mefloquine.
  • Chloroquine phosphate: Chloroquine is the preferred treatment for susceptible parasites, but resistance is widespread globally, rendering it ineffective in many regions.

Other prevalent antimalarial drugs include:

  • Atovaquone-proguanil
  • Quinine sulfate with doxycycline
  • Primaquine phosphate