Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Areas of risk

Malaria is typically found in warmer tropical and subtropical countries

Areas in Africa, South Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania have been affected.

Key facts

According to the World Malaria Report, in 2021 there were 247 million malaria cases and 619,000 deaths.

The WHO published The Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 to guide and support malaria-endemic countries on controlling and eliminating the disease.

prevention guidance

Malaria is a life-threatening disease spread to humans by some types of mosquitoes.

~1/2 of the world’s population

lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission

In many of the countries affected by malaria, it is a leading cause of illness and death.

Malaria at a glance

Primary vector


Biting habits:

  • Late evening and early hours of morning.


Most common:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sweats
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Aches

Severe malaria involves organ failure or abnormalities in the blood and metabolism and is considered a medical emergency.

An international traveller returning home with a fever after visiting a malaria-endemic country should consult a healthcare professional without delay to rule out malaria.

Help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases dampening your travel experience. Learn more by speaking to your healthcare professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist, or visiting a travel clinic, before your next trip.