Common Diseases


Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals. The disease results from the multiplication of parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma or death. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.There were an estimated 225 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2009.An estimated 655,000 people died from malaria in 2010.

Symptoms of malaria include fever, shivering, joint pain, vomiting, anemia, jaundice and convulsions.Consequences of severe malaria include coma and death if untreated.  In the most severe cases of the disease, fatality rates can exceed 20%, even with intensive care and treatment. In endemic areas, treatment is often less satisfactory and the overall fatality rate for all cases of malaria can be as high as one in ten.

Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of mosquito nets treated with insecticide and insect repellents, or by mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water (where mosquitoes breed). Despite a clear need, no vaccine offering a high level of protection currently exists. Efforts to develop one are ongoing. A number of medications, which are used to treat malaria, are available to prevent malaria in travelers to malaria-endemic countries.