There were 216 million cases of Malaria worldwide in 2016, with almost half a million deaths. Although there are medications that help to prevent and treat it , certain forms can be life-threatening, despite treatment.
Malaria is caused by a parasite (called Plasmodium) which is passed to humans via mosquito bites. In humans it infects red blood cells and the liver, and can cause serious illness and death.
Australia was declared free of Malaria in 1981, but a few hundred cases present here each year, as people return from overseas. There have also been some cases in the Torres Strait Islands. Malaria is widespread in large parts of Africa, Asia, South America, the Pacific Islands and other places