What Is Malaria? A deadly disease caused by single-celled parasites from the genus Plasmodium and spread by female anopheline mosquitoes.
Symptoms: Fever, chills, headache, vomiting and other severe flu-like symptoms. Severe malaria can lead to brain injury and death if not treated quickly.
Can It Be Eradicated? Not currently. But because malaria parasites infect only humans, eradication is theoretically possible.
Status: Malaria has been eliminated in the U.S. and many European countries. Control and elimination programs are ongoing in other parts of the world.
Looking to the Future
And while we know a great deal about this disease—and have spent billions of dollars combatting it—eradication remains a distant goal. Most experts agree that current strategies and technologies simply aren’t sufficient to wipe out malaria completely. Although many drug treatments exist, the parasites that cause the disease are constantly evolving resistance to the medications. Similarly, the mosquitoes that carry the parasites can become resistant to insecticides. And while vaccine research has ramped up, a highly effective vaccine is still far off. For now, our most effective tools are bed nets and timely treatment of those with fever, anemia and other symptoms of the disease. But with sufficient global investment in new tools and techniques, many are hopeful that eradication will one day be achieved.
Targeting the Transmitter
Hope for the Future