Why is malaria dangerous?
Malaria is dangerous because if left untreated, it can be deadly. This is particularly true of Plasmodium falciparum, which can rapidly escalate into severe disease with cerebral (brain) complications.
However, other forms of malaria, such as P. vivax and P. knowlesi, can also be fatal if untreated. The people most at risk from severe malaria are pregnant women and young children; in addition pregnant women who contract malaria are at risk of passing the disease to their foetus either during pregnancy or during birth (so-called congenital malaria) which can have negative effects on the baby, such as poor growth and low birth weight.