Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people exclusively through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes.

There are four parasite species that cause malaria in humans:

            Plasmodium falciparum

            Plasmodium vivax

            Plasmodium malariae

            Plasmodium ovale.

Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most common. Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly.

 

Approximately half the world’s population is at risk for malaria. Most deaths occur among children living in Africa, where a child dies every minute from malaria. Malaria mortality rates among children in Africa have been reduced by an estimated 54% since 2000.

 

There are currently no licensed vaccines against malaria or any other human parasite. However, malaria is both preventable and curable. Increased malaria prevention and control measures are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.

Ways to prevent malaria transmission are through vector control (insecticide treated mosquito nets and indoor spraying of insecticide) and through antimalarial medication (chemoprophylaxis).

 

Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/

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