What is malaria?
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite, of the genus Plasmodium, that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito (of the genus Anopheles) which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Four kinds of malaria parasites can infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. knowlesi and P. malariae. Infection with P. falciparum, if not promptly treated, may lead to death. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.