Malaria is a mosquito-borne life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. There are five parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and two of these species, P. falciparum, and P. vivax, are the most common and can cause acute febrile illness. Most infections (94%) occur in the African region and cause nearly a half million deaths per year, predominately children under the age of five. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to managing malaria and preventing death. Diagnosis relies on microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests that directly detect the parasite.
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