Surely the diagnosis can’t be malaria (or typhoid) every single time? If you’re thinking the same thing then I can assure you a lot of people are. Would you like to know 10 other conditions with similar symptoms to malaria? If so, keep reading!

I was having a conversation with a friend who has been ill for an unreasonable length of time. She was explaining to me that she wasn’t quite sure what was wrong with her. Basically, she’s been on antimalarials and antibiotics for the last two months, but neither of them seem to be working. Unfortunately, every time she goes back to her hospital, she’s told she has malaria and typhoid, and that she needs to keep taking her medication. Hmm! Does that scenario sound familiar? If your answer was yes, you’re not alone!

How likely is it that 99% of ill people in Nigeria have either malaria or typhoid even when the prescribed medication is clearly not working? I’m not saying it’s impossible, but the odds are high (it is unlikely in my opinion).

Most people don’t realise that results from lab tests are not necessarily 100% correct. It is actually possible to get a false positive result. Basically, a result that comes back positive, but is really negative. False positive results can be due to many things including, wrong samples and technician errors.

I’m not saying that you definitely have one of these conditions if your malaria or typhoid medication is not working. I’m only suggesting that you ask your doctor to rule these other conditions out, just incase they are the real reason for your illness.

Conditions with similar symptoms to malaria

Kidney failure

Kidney failure arises when your kidneys are unable to filter waste products from the blood properly. Your kidneys also lose their ability to control the amount and distribution of water in the body, and the levels of salts and minerals like sodium, potassium and calcium.

Heart failure

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood properly throughout the body. You don’t usually get any particular symptoms at first, but later you may experience shortness of breath and fatigue. Anyone can get heart failure, even young children. But, it is more common in older people especially those who eat a high-fat diet, smoke and have high blood pressure.


If the small air sacs in your lungs become infected with bacteria, viruses, fungi or even parasites, you may develop pneumonia. Other symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, chills, fever, shortness of breath. Antibiotics will only be effective for pneumonia that is caused by bacteria, it will NOT be effective for pneumonia caused by viruses, fungi or parasites.


Infection with Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D or E can cause your liver to become inflamed. You can also get hepatitis if you drink alcohol excessively or through the use of certain drugs. You can get vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, but there are no vaccines available for the other strains.


Gastroenteritis is also known as inflammation of the stomach. You get this mainly from an infection with viruses, bacteria or parasites, but drug abuse and toxins can also cause it. Common symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Drugs like antacids, antibiotics, and laxatives can also cause gastroenteritis.

There you have it! 5 other common conditions that have similar symptoms to malaria. If you keep getting malaria, chances are that you may not really have malaria. You probably have something else that has not been properly addressed.



UK qualified PhD Scientist & Nutritionist with a passion for plant-based nutrition and wellness.

Midas Naturals’ goal is to provide quality health information that enhances and promotes the wellbeing of Nigerians & Africans.

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