Malaria is a severe disease caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium
, which is transmitted to humans by a bite of an infected female mosquito of the species Anopheles
. Malaria remains the leading cause of mortality around the world, and early diagnosis and fast-acting treatment prevent unwanted outcomes. It is the most common disease in Africa and some countries of Asia, while in the developed world malaria occurs as imported from endemic areas. The sweet sagewort plant was used as early as the second century BC to treat malaria fever in China. Much later, quinine started being used as an antimalaria drug. A global battle against malaria started in 1955, and Croatia declared 1964 to be the year of eradication of malaria. The World Health Organization carries out a malaria control program on a global scale, focusing on local strengthening of primary health care, early diagnosis of the disease, timely treatment, and disease prevention. Globally, the burden of malaria is lower than ten years ago. However, in the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of malaria cases around the world. It is moving towards targets established by the WHO, but that progress has slowed down.
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