The reality is that blackwater fever is a term for a commonly fatal and very long known complication of malaria, hemoglobinuria, a condition in which the destruction of red blood cells by the malaria parasites floods the victim’s urine with hemoglobin, causing it to appear dark-red or black, producing the name “blackwater fever.”
Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province warn of a new disease they call “Blackwater” that threatens the lives of thousands. The disease is named after Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. mercenary company operating in Iraq.
“This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection,” Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. “It is one of the complications of that infection, and not the ordinary picture of the disease. Because of its frequent and severe complications, such as Blackwater fever, and its resistance to treatment, P. falciparum can cause death within 24 hours.”