Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who contract malaria are typically very sick with high fevers and flu-like illness, which can include shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, nausea. If not promptly treated, the infection may lead to kidney failure, seizures, coma, and death.
In 2017, there were an estimated 219 million malaria cases and some 435,000 malaria deaths around the world. It is also a disease of great military significance and endemic in much of Australia’s area of military operations with Africa accounting for the most global cases of malaria (92% in 2017), followed by the South-East Asia Region (5%) and the Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%). Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented by the use of preventive medication, insecticides and protective clothing/equipment. The most current global information about malaria is available on the World Health Organization website.