WHO global health days

Quiz: How much do you know about malaria?

April 2016

Take the test to check the answers.

1 Mosquito responsible for malaria transmission

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, which are active mainly between dusk and dawn. There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the greatest threat.

2 How many people are at risk of malaria in the world?

In 2015, approximately 3.2 billion people – nearly half of the world's population – were at risk of malaria. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East are also at risk. In 2015, 95 countries and territories had ongoing malaria transmission.

3 Malaria can be lethal

Malaria can be lethal. Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria are key. If left untreated, the disease can lead to severe illness and death.

4 I can protect myself from malaria

Malaria is preventable and vector control methods such as insecticide-treated bed nets play a vital role. Indoor residual spraying is another essential intervention used in malaria-endemic countries. It involves spraying an effective dose of insecticide with a long residual activity on indoor walls and ceilings where malaria vectors are likely to rest after biting. The insecticide is sprayed typically once or twice per year.

5 There is no treatment against malaria

Malaria is curable. The best available treatment, particularly for P. falciparum malaria, is artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). An ACT contains both the drug artemisinin and a partner drug.

6 There is a vaccine against malaria

There are currently no licensed vaccines against malaria. One research vaccine against P. falciparum, known as RTS, S/AS01, is most advanced. This vaccine has been evaluated in a clinical trial in 7 countries in Africa and received a positive opinion by the European Medicines Agency.

Countdown to World Malaria Day, 25 April 2016