Malaria also known as the Plasmodium infection, is a parasitic infection—that means it enters the body through a mosquito bite. The mosquito is infected with the virus and transfers it to the person.

Although the Plasmodium parasite is the main cause of the infection, environmental and lifestyle factors play contributing roles. Explore the common and less common causes—they may help you prevent contracting malaria.

Malaria facts & figures

Each year, the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report assesses global and regional malaria trends, highlights progress towards global targets, and describes opportunities and challenges in controlling and eliminating the disease. Below are some of the highlights from the most recent report.

  • Malaria can kill within 24 hours of symptom onset.
  • In 2018, an estimated 228 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, with 93% of these cases occurring in the WHO Africa Region.
  • In 2018, there were an estimated 405,000 malaria deaths worldwide. Children aged under 5 years are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria. In 2018, they accounted for 67% of all malaria deaths worldwide.
  • Nearly 85% of global malaria deaths in 2018 were concentrated in 20 countries in the WHO African Region and India; Nigeria accounted for almost 24%  of the global malaria deaths, followed by Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), the United Republic of Tanzania (5%), and Angola, Mozambique and Niger (4% each).

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