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Fever coming in the evenings, back pain, headache. Could it be malaria?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I am having mild fever (100 -101F) from the past 5-6 days and the fever only comes in the evening. Along with it I have been suffering from lower back pain which initially spread to the upper back the shoulders and sometimes to knees and legs. One night it also went to 103-104. Other than that have been having mild headaces and pain behind the eyes and in general the feeling is low.

I dont have any throat infection or cold or cough. I dont have any stomach issues also.

I have not taken any medications as of now believing it to be a viral infection. Should I be worried? Could this be malaria? Should I go and see a Physician or just rest and fluid intakes will be sufficient?
Posted Thu, 2 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 26 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

The history of fever, joint and muscle pain, headache and peri orbital pain (pain by the eyes) are symptoms that can be present in a viral illness.One of the viral illnesses that can present in this way is dengue.

They are also symptoms that can occur in persons with malaria. Additional symptoms that can occur in malaria are jaundice, increased size of the liver and spleen.In most persons with malaria the fever would occur in cycles of 48 to 72 hrs depending on the parasite involved. This means that the fever occurs every 48 to 72 hrs, usually with chills.

If you live in an area or region where malaria is prevalent it would be important to consider it.This means that you would need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This would allow your doctor to examine you, perform the appropriate blood tests and initiate treatment.
If you live in an area where it is not seen, for example in the Caribbean malaria is hardly ever seen, then it is not necessary to consider it.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Fever coming in the evenings, back pain, headache. Could it be malaria? 17 hours later
Why is the fever only coming in the evening around 4 and not during day. Does this symptom help to diagnose the cause better?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 5 hours later
Viral illnesses can present with intermittent fever. This can occur for example in dengue fever which is a viral illness. Some forms of the flu virus can also present with this pattern.

Some bacterial illnesses can also be associated with this type of cyclical fever.

Since fever is such a common symptom of so many illnesses, by itself it would not assist in diagnosis. It has to be used in conjunction with the other symptoms.

It would be best to have a thorough examination to determine the exact cause of your symptoms

please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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