Where is Malaria ?

Malaria is a very old disease and prehistoric man is thought to have suffered from malaria. It probably originated in Africa and accompanied human migration to the Mediterranean shores, India, and South East Asia. In the past it used to be common in the marshy areas around Rome and the name is derived from the Italian, (mal-aria) or “bad air”; it was also known as Roman fever.

Geographic Distribution

Now, where malaria is found depends mainly on climatic factors such as temperature, humidity, and rainfalls. Malaria is transmitted in tropical and subtropical areas, where :
 Anopheles mosquitoes must be present, which are in contact with humans, and in which the parasites can complete the “invertebrate host” half of their life cycle

  • Humans must be present, who are in contact with Anopheles mosquitoes, and in whom the parasites can complete the “vertebrate host” half of their life cycle
  • Malaria parasites must be present.

Temperature is particularly critical. For example, at temperatures below 20°C (68°F), Plasmodium falciparum (which causes severe malaria) cannot complete its growth cycle in the Anopheles mosquito, and thus cannot be transmitted.

Even within tropical and subtropical areas, transmission will not occur at high altitudes, during cooler seasons in some areas, in deserts (excluding the oases), in some islands in the Pacific Ocean, which have no local Anopheles species capable of transmitting malaria and in some countries where transmission has been interrupted through successful eradication.

Generally, in warmer regions closer to the equator, the transmission will be more intense, the Malaria is transmitted year-round and it’s P. falciparum predominates.

The highest transmission is found in Africa South of the Sahara. It is in sub-Saharan Africa where 85– 90% of malaria fatalities occur

A interactiv map was develop by the CDC.

In cooler regions, transmission will be less intense and more seasonal. There, P. vivax might be more prevalent because it is more tolerant of lower ambient temperatures.

In many temperate areas, such as western Europe and the United States, economic development and public health measures have succeeded in eliminating malaria. However, most of these areas have Anopheles mosquitoes that can transmit malaria, and reintroduction of the disease is a constant risk.

In tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Each year, there are approximately 515 million cases of malaria, killing between one and three million people. This represents at least one death every 30 seconds. The vast majority of cases occur in children under the age of 5 years

Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, but is also a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.

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