Malaria is a potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. In India, malaria is primarily caused by the parasitic species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. When an infected mosquito bites, symptoms appear after 10-14 days for P. falciparum or 2-3 weeks for P. vivax (3-6 months for some strains).

Uncomplicated malaria
  • Fever
  • Moderate-to-severe chills
  • Profuse sweating
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Diarrhoea
  • Body-aches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Anaemia
Severe malaria
  • Prostration
  • Respiratory distress
  • Confusion/agitation
  • Convulsion
  • Shock
  • Coma
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Repeated vomiting


The malarial parasite is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected female mosquito of the genus Anopheles.

  • Malaria can be prevented by chemoprophylaxis (use of drugs), vaccination, bite-avoidance and vector-control measures
  • The only WHO approved vaccine for malaria is called RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S)
    • The vaccine is recommended for infants and children: 3 doses are to be given intramuscularly between 5 and 17 months, with a fourth booster dose at ~2 years

  • In the last 10 years, India has shown great progress in malaria control.
  • Total malaria cases declined by 42%, from 1.92 million in 2004 to 1.1 million in 2014
    • Malaria-related deaths have similarly declined by 40.8% from 949 in 2004 to 562 in 2014