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WHAT IS IT?
Malaria is a parasitic disease caused by any one of four species of Plasmodium parasite. P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. vivax. The parasites are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Transmissions have occurred in Africa, South Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania.
Malaria was eliminated from the United States in the early 1950’s but there is a constant risk that malaria could be reintroduced because three types of Anopheles mosquitoes are still found in the United States. Approximately 1,500-2,000 cases of malaria are reported each year in the United States mostly by returning travelers and immigrants.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Back pain
Untreated Malaria especially when caused by P. falciparum infection can lead to coma, renal failure, pulmonary edema, and death. Symptoms generally begin 10 days to 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito; a person may feel ill as late as 1 year later.