A person becomes infected with malaria when bitten by a female mosquito that processes the malaria parasite. It is also possible to spread malaria through contaminated needles or in blood transfusions. The parasite enters the blood stream and travels to the liver, where they multiply. When they re-emerge into the blood stream symptoms appear. By the time most symptoms show up, the parasites have reproduced very rapidly, clogging blood vessels and rupturing cells. Symptoms may include fever, chills, flu-like illness, and, in severe cases, coma and death.
Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents. Mosquito control is also an effective way of reducing the burden of malaria. This is achieved by spraying insecticides inside houses and reducing the standing water where mosquitoes breed.
Unfortunately, no vaccine is currently available to stop infection. Instead preventative drugs must be taken continuously to reduce the risk of malaria. Such drug treatments are simply too expensive for most individuals living in widespread areas. Malaria infections are treated through the use of