Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease. The Anopheles mosquito transmits it to humans. Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite. The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. People who have malaria usually feel very sick, with a high fever and shaking chills. Each year, approximately 210 million people are infected with malaria, and about 440,000 people die from the disease. While the disease is uncommon in temperate climates, malaria is still common in tropical and subtropical countries. World health officials are trying to reduce the incidence of malaria by distributing bed nets to help protect people from mosquito bites as they sleep. Scientists around the world are working to develop a vaccine to prevent malaria.
If you're traveling to locations where malaria is common, take steps to prevent mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing, using insect repellants and sleeping under treated mosquito nets. Depending on the area you are visiting and your individual risk factors for infection, you may also want to take preventive medicine before, during and after your trip. Many malaria parasites are now resistant to the most common drugs used to treat the disease.
A malaria infection is generally characterized by the following signs and symptoms:
Other signs and symptoms may include:
Malaria is caused by a type of microscopic parasite. The parasite is transmitted to humans most commonly through mosquito bites.