Symptoms of malaria

Learn about the symptoms of malaria and what to do if you become ill.

On this page

What are the symptoms of malaria?

Symptoms of malaria are often similar to those of the flu, and include:

  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • sweats or chills
  • nausea and vomiting
  • muscle and stomach pain

Symptoms usually appear between 1 to 4 weeks but can take up to a year to develop. Depending on the type of malaria parasite and previous existing conditions, different time periods may occur.

If not treated, malaria can progress to severe illness. In more severe cases, complications may include:

  • coma
  • seizures
  • respiratory failure
  • renal failure, also known as blackwater fever

Malaria can be fatal if not treated urgently and aggressively.

What do you do if you become ill?

Know the symptoms of malaria because it is a serious illness and a deadly disease.

See a health care provider immediately if you have a fever or flu-like symptoms:

  • during your trip
  • up to a year after you return home

Be sure to tell your health care provider about your travel history.

Page details

Date modified: