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What is malaria?

Page last updated 18 July 2018

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito (i.e. the female Anopheles mosquito), which feeds on humans.

There are four types of parasites that cause malaria in humans: P. ovale, P. malariae, P. vivax and P. falciparum. Initially, the parasite roam in the bloodstream for a short time before moving on to infect the liver and multiply. After about 6 to 16 days (depending on which parasite it is), the parasite returns to the bloodstream to infect and multiply inside the red blood cells.


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Sources & Citations

  1. Victorian State Government, Better Health Channel, Malaria. Available at (accessed 5 April 2018).
  2. World Health Organisation, Malaria Fact Sheet. Available at (accessed 5 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.05.0186a - Date of preparation May 2018