Malaria is an infection marked by fever
and shaking chills. Four different
species of the Plasmodium parasite cause malaria.
What is going on in the body?
Malaria occurs mainly in the tropical areas of the world, including Africa,
Asia, and Central and South America. Humans acquire malaria through the bite of
a mosquito. There are 4 species of Plasmodium that cause infection.
When an infected mosquito bites a person, the parasite travels through the
bloodstream to the liver. The parasite multiplies in the liver. Then it goes
back into the bloodstream and attacks the red blood cells. As the red blood
cells are destroyed, symptoms begin in the body.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
The Plasmodium parasite causes infection. The bite of the anopheles mosquito
transmits the parasite from person to person. When a mosquito bites a person
who has malaria, the parasite multiplies in the mosquito. If the mosquito then
bites another person, it can inject the parasite into another person. The
infection can also be spread from an infected pregnant woman to the fetus
across the placenta.