World Malaria Day : In 2018 an estimated 405,000 people died worldwide due to Malaria

mosquito

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die.

In 2018 an estimated 228 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 405,000 people died, mostly children in the African Region. About 2,000 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. The vast majority of cases in the United States are in travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs, many from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Diagnosis of malaria

Rapid and accurate diagnosis of malaria is integral to the appropriate treatment of affected individuals and in preventing the further spread of infection in the community. As a national reference center for malaria diagnosis, CDC provides diagnostic and technical assistance on malaria diagnosis. CDC provides reference microscopic diagnosis and other specialized tests such as serology, PCR, and drug-resistance testing.

Treatment of malaria

Treatment of malaria depends on many factors including disease severity, the species of malaria parasite causing the infection, and the part of the world in which the infection was acquired. The latter two characteristics help determine the probability that the organism is resistant to certain antimalarial drugs. Additional factors such as age, weight, and pregnancy status may limit the available options for malaria treatment.

Healthcare providers should always obtain a travel history from febrile patients. Fever in a person who has recently traveled in a malaria-endemic area should always be immediately evaluated using the appropriate diagnostic tests for malaria.

Malaria’s Impact

Malaria occurs mostly in poor tropical and subtropical areas of the world. In many of the countries affected by malaria, it is a leading cause of illness and death. In areas with high transmission, the most vulnerable groups are young children, who have not developed immunity to malaria yet, and pregnant women, whose immunity has been decreased by pregnancy. The costs of malaria – to individuals, families, communities, nations – are enormous.

Geography of Malaria affected

Malaria occurs mostly in poor, tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Africa is the most affected due to a combination of factors:

(Source – CDC)

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