Can malaria kill you?
YES! Malaria, especially of the kind caused by Plasmodium falciparum parasites, can be an extremely severe illness and even deadly. Somewhere between 700,000 and 1 million people die of malaria every year, and the majority of these are children under the age of five years old, which is the age group most susceptible to severe malaria attacks. Pregnant women are also at elevated risk, due to their compromised immune systems. Therefore, preventing malaria in young children and pregnant women is the single most effective way to reduce the number of malaria fatalities; in highly endemic areas, this is usually achieved through the distribution of insecticide-treated bednets, to sleep under at night to reduce mosquito bites, or preventative medication such as intermittent preventive therapy (IPT).
Given the seriousness of malaria, it is prudent to check with a doctor or go to hospital if you live in a malaria endemic area and come down with symptoms of the disease such as high fever, chills and nausea. The majority of malaria cases are easily treated with oral medication, given swift and accurate diagnosis.