Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches.
In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.
Symptoms Fever, vomiting, headache
Complications Yellow skin, seizures, coma
Usual onset 10–15 days post exposure
Causes Plasmodium spread by mosquitos
Diagnostic method Examination of the blood, antigen detection tests
Prevention Mosquito nets, insect repellent, mosquito control, medications
Medication Antimalarial medication
Frequency 216 million (2016)
Deaths 445,000 to 731,000
The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator. This includes much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide resulting in an estimated 445,000 to 731,000 deaths. Approximately 90% of both cases and deaths occurred in Africa. Rates of disease have decreased from 2000 to 2015 by 37%, but increased from 2014, during which there were 198 million cases.
Malaria is commonly associated with poverty and has a major negative effect on economic development.
In Africa, it is estimated to result in losses of US$12 billion a year due to increased healthcare costs, lost ability to work, and negative effects on tourism.
The risk of disease can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water.