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Question
Posted by: AB | 2010/02/10

Severe Headache - Malaria?

Good day Doc,
My brother in law has been experiencing severe headaches for longer than a week now. Along with that he' s got high blood pressure, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, cold sweat at night, sometimes high fever during the day. Can this be malaria? They moved to Hoedspruit a year ago. They have done a finger prick test at the airforce hospital but it showed negative for malaria and tick bite fever.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear AB,

There are so many things that cause headaches, that it is impossible to say from your description what the cause is. The doctors in Hoedspruit have a lot of experience with malaria, so they are in the best position to tell. If it is not malaria, then your brother in law needs a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Mo | 2010/04/08

Good day Doc,

I am a 39yr old female. I suffer from hypertension. I am currently on elanapril 10mg, adalat 30mg and ridaq. My pressure is at a constant high. The last reading was 127/110.
I used to suffer with migraine head aches from the age of 16. Then when I turned 30 they niraculously stopped.
My mother had a brain aneurysm at the age of 49.
At 3am this morning I had the worst head ache I have had in my life. The head ache was situated at the top of my head into my neck. I always get these head aches but not as bad. Do you think that this is something to worry about ?
Please advise/assist.

Thanking you in advance.

Mo

Reply to Mo
Posted by: Headache expert | 2010/02/11

Dear AB,

There are so many things that cause headaches, that it is impossible to say from your description what the cause is. The doctors in Hoedspruit have a lot of experience with malaria, so they are in the best position to tell. If it is not malaria, then your brother in law needs a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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