Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Globally, malaria is still the biggest killer. It is a potentially life threatening disease of the blood, caused by a parasite, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
Symptoms include: fever, headache, chills and vomiting - may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.
Here are some key facts about the deadly disease:
- 3.2 billion (almost half of the world population) are at risk.
- There were 214 million new cases of malaria worldwide in 2015.
- In 2015, there were 438,000 deaths from malaria.
- Most of these deaths occurred in the African Region (90%), followed by the South-East Asia Region (7%) and the Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%).
- In 2015, malaria killed an estimated 306 000 under-fives globally, including 292 000 children in the African Region.
- Between 2000 and 2015, malaria incidence rates (new malaria cases) fell by 37% globally, and by 42% in Africa. During this same period, malaria mortality rates fell by 60% globally and by 66% in the African Region.
- For the first time, the European Region reported zero indigenous cases of malaria in 2015.
- In 2015, 97 countries had ongoing malaria transmission.
- Currently, there is no effective malaria vaccine on the market although progress has been made in the 10 years toward developing malaria vaccines. GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’ RTS,S, is the first malaria vaccine canditate to have completed pivotal Phase 3 testing and obtained a positive scientific opinion by a stringent medicines regulatory authority.
- RTS,S is a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally, and the most prevalent in Africa. It offers no protection against P. vivax malaria, which predominates in many countries outside of Africa.