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Causes, Symptoms and Prevention of Blackwater Fever

Black Water fever is a serious complication of malaria. It occurs almost exclusively in falciparum malaria, the most serious type of the disease. It is called blackwater fever because dark-colored urine is a prominent sign of this complication. It is characterized by severe blood damage, and large amounts of al-bumin and hemoglobin are lost through the kidneys. The decomposed hemoglobin gives the dark color to the urine.

The onset of blackwater fever is usually sudden, with a chill, prostration, fever, and pain in the regions of the kidneys and bladder. Nausea and vomiting are often troublesome and persistent. The urine, progressively darker in color, may be passed in increasingly scanty amounts, and in some cases urination is suppressed.

In the course of a severe attack of blackwater fever a great variety of alarming and dangerous symptoms may develop and cases differ widely. The disease does not develop except in people who have, or have had, malaria. At least a quarter of the victims of this disease die of it. A first attack predisposes to a more severe attack. Very few persons survive a third attack.

Blackwater Fever

What are the Prevention of Blackwater Fever:

1. Keep the victim in bed, lying down.

2. Blood transfusions and other supportive therapy that can be given only by a physician may be needed to save life. There is no specific remedy.

3. If the victim’s stomach will retain food, give him a bland, liquid, or soft diet. Avoid any foods hard for him to digest.

4. Urge him to drink water freely if he can retain it.

5. Fomentations applied to the upper abdomen every three hours may help control the nausea.

6. Avoid moving the victim while he is ill, but when he becomes better, he should move to a non-malaria region and stay there.

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