Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites, transmitted to humans through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes.
There are five parasite species that cause malaria in humans: Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium vivax; Plasmodium malariae; Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium knowlesi.
Worldwide, millions of people are at risk of malaria, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and in 2013 malaria was responsible for an estimated 584 000 deaths.
Despite this huge burden, the number of people who die from malaria have fallen sharply since 2000.
Regarding to the first symptoms, they are fever, headache, chills and vomiting and appear seven days or more (usually 10–15 days) after the infected mosquito bite.
If not treated within 24 hours, the disease can progress to severe illness often leading to death.
Malaria is preventable and curable.
Non-immune travellers are particularly vulnerable to the disease.