Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite, transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Malaria produces recurrent attacks of chills and fever. Malaria kills an estimated 660,000 people each year.
While the disease is uncommon in temperate climates, malaria is still prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries. World health officials are trying to reduce the incidence of malaria by distributing bed nets to help protect people from mosquito bites as they sleep. Scientists around the world are working to develop a vaccine to prevent malaria.
If you're traveling to locations where malaria is common, take preventive medicine before, during and after your trip. Many malaria parasites are now immune to the most common drugs used to treat the disease.