In the time it takes you to read this page, at least 1000 people have been infected with malaria and as many as seven have died. Malaria is a debilitating and sometimes lethal infectious disease transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.
Compared with other infectious diseases, malaria kills more people (between 1 and 3 million deaths per year) and affects around 1 billion people at any one time.
It is the most important infectious disease on Earth. It gets its name from the Italian ‘mala’ and ‘aria’, meaning ‘bad air’, in reference to its association with the sometimes smelly swamps where mosquitoes breed.