The first symptoms of malaria are non-specific and acute in onset. Fever and influenza-like symptoms are particularly common presenting symptoms of malaria and influenza is the most common misdiagnosis of malaria. 

  • In adults, headache, rigors with cold shivers and sweating, and myalgia, are common. Some of the following may also occur weakness, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, sore throat, and cough. 
  • In young children, rigors, headache is less common, and malaria may present with fever and any of the following: lethargy, poor feeding, vomiting, diarrhoea or cough. 

NICD - Disease Index - Malaria