In 2015, The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported over 212 million cases of malaria worldwide…
That’s 3% of the entire human race.
Malaria led to around 430,000 deaths in 2015.
Yes, it can kill, it’s deadly.
Which countries are affected by malaria?
Malaria occurs in over 100 countries around the globe, and is caused by a parasite which lives within mosquitos.
These countries have tropical and subtropical climates which are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos. Plasmodium falciparum is the most common type of malaria and the most frequently diagnosed type of malaria in the UK and can lead to severe disease.
Most of these countries are in West and Subsaharan Africa, South America and South Eastern parts of Asia. To find out if a country is affected that you’re travelling to search on Travel Health Pro.
Why are rates of Malaria so high?
Many of the areas endemic with malaria are often lacking in medical facilities and effective prevention strategies, which is why malaria is such a massive world health problem.
Most commonly, the parasite which causes malaria is transmitted through bites from infected mosquitos. It can take just one bite for the infection to enter the bloodstream.
It is most common in areas where mosquitos have the ideal humidity and temperatures for development (around is 25–27°c).
It can also be transmitted in other, much rarer ways such as by organ transplants, blood transfusions or sharing needles all from someone who has been already infected with malaria.
The key to stopping malaria in developing and developed countries is prevention. The main way to do this is to prevent people from getting bitten, but that is a difficult task.
Can we eradicate malaria?
Exciting new research is looking into fighting malaria by genetically engineering the mosquitoes themselves, which involves changing their DNA so they can no longer carry the Malaria parasite. However, while malaria still exists, we need added protection to be completely safe.
- Mohandas, Narla, and Xiuli An. “Malaria and human red blood cells.” Medical microbiology and immunology 201.4 (2012): 593-598.