Who is at risk?
Approximately half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Asia, Latin America, and to a lesser extent the Middle East and parts of Europe are also affected. In 2013, 97 countries and territories had ongoing malaria transmission.
Specific population risk groups include:
|→||young children in stable transmission areas who have not yet developed protective immunity against the most severe forms of the disease;|
|→||non-immune pregnant women as malaria causes high rates of miscarriage and can lead to maternal death;|
|→||semi-immune pregnant women in areas of high transmission. Malaria can result in miscarriage and low birth weight, especially during first and second pregnancies;|
|→||semi-immune HIV-infected pregnant women in stable transmission areas, during all pregnancies. Women with malaria infection of the placenta also have a higher risk of passing HIV infection to their newborns;|
|→||people with HIV/AIDS;|
|→||international travellers from non-endemic areas because they lack immunity;|
|→||immigrants from endemic areas and their children living in non-endemic areas and returning to their home countries to visit friends and relatives are similarly at risk because of waning or absent immunity|