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Can you guess the world’s deadliest creature? Bear, hippo, elephant, or tiger? Actually, the World’s deadliest beast is the mosquito.  They serve as a vector for diseases such as Zika virus, Dengue, Yellow fever, West Nile Virus, and Malaria. Malaria is a vector-borne disease with severe consequences for the global population.  Nearly half of the World’s people are at risk for the disease. Yearly, 215 million cases are estimated, and of these  405,000 deaths. The majority (90%) of Malaria cases are in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Most of the 2000 cases a year of Malaria diagnosed in the United States are from travelers returning from these regions.

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. These insects thrive in moist, hot climates. The symptoms of malaria are fever, shaking chills, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and body aches. The.symptoms may sound familiar, as they are common in many viruses as well. The time period from the bite, to parasite injection to disease manifestation, is 10 to 18 days. The WHO (World Health Organization) would like travelers to apprise themselves of these symptoms as treatment depends on the area of the globe where Malaria is contracted. Anti-malarial drugs are available pre-travel for people embarking on high-risk areas. It is also recommended to wear long sleeves, insect repellant, and mosquito netting.

Globally, 3.5 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria. The disease is more virile in children and pregnant women. Changes in air and water temperature, humidity, droughts, and rainfall impact malaria. In addition, dusk and dawn are high times of transmission. After rainfall, the mosquito is better able to replicate. Be mindful of puddles and other areas where water can pool and eggs are laid. Floods can cause mosquitos to replicate quickly and with more virulence than droughts.

See your physician or visit the health department as part of travel preparation. Further resources are available at; or


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2020). Malaria. Retrieved from:
On ya go,E., Sabin, O.,Awiti,A.,Chu,C.,& Mackey,B.(2016). An integrated risk and vulnerability assessment framework for climate change and malaria transmission in East Africa. Malaria Journal , 151-12. doi:10.1186/s12936-016-1600-3
World Health Organization (WHO) (2016). Climate Change. Retrieved from: 

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