Facts About Malaria

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FACTS ABOUT MALARIA

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • In 2008, malaria caused nearly one million deaths, mostly among African children.
  • Malaria is preventable and curable.
  • Malaria can decrease gross domestic product by as much as 1.3% in countries with high disease rates.
  • Non-immune travellers from malaria-free areas are very vulnerable to the disease when they get infected.

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There are four types of human malaria:

  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Plasmodium malariae
  • Plasmodium ovale.

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

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In 2008, there were 247 million cases of malaria and nearly one million deaths – mostly among children living in Africa. In Africa a child dies every 45 seconds of Malaria, the disease accounts for 20% of all childhood deaths.

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors”, which bite mainly between dusk and dawn.

In recent years, some human cases of malaria have also occurred with Plasmodium knowlesi – a monkey malaria that occurs in certain forested areas of South-East Asia.

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