Malaria is a serious, life-threatening parasitic disease. It is found in tropical areas of the world, where it infects millions and claims about half a million of those lives annually. Malaria is a top priority for hospitals in endemic countries as well as the World Health Organization. While malaria does not present a threat in the US, travelers to any malaria hot spots need to be informed about the disease and take precautions to prevent becoming infected.
Information – Malaria is believed to have been plaguing humanity for the last 10,000 years. Over one hundred countries in tropical locales are considered to pose a significant malaria risk, with the greatest incidence in central Africa, South America, and parts of the middle east. Anti-malaria programs like bed nets and mosquito extermination have done well to reduce the threat in both economically prosperous and urban areas, but rural areas remain risky. Malaria poses the biggest threat to children, who overwhelmingly represent the majority of fatalities. Antimalarial drugs are available for travelers, but may not guarantee safety, as drug-resistant strains of the offending pathogen do exist.